Some great news just in from Sundazed Records (thanks to Andy Bean for passing it on):
*LIVE RECORDING OF THE LEGENDARY AND INNOVATIVE MAGIC BAND’S 2005 REUNION!
Famously forged in a cauldron of intense artistic pressure, the Magic Band emerged as a group unlike any other in popular music. Under the tenacious
tutelage of Don Van Vliet, better known as Captain Beefheart, this strikingly innovative unit took their music to unexplored places, creating a musical language all their own. Throughout the band’s chaotic history with Beefheart, drummer John “Drumbo” French served as the chief translator, deciphering the Captain’s often cryptic instructions into a discernable direction for the band. His tireless efforts provided the essential conduit through which Beefheart’s multi-hued compositional visions transformed into concrete audio sculptures. In simpler terms, he was the glue.
In response to repeated fan requests, French assembled an all-star cast of Magic Band veterans
- Denny “Freebo Reelers” (sic) Walley/guitar
- Gary “Mantis” Lucas/guitar
- Mark “Rockette Morton” Boston/bass
- Michael Traylor/drums
and brought them to the U.K. for several concert tours between 2003 and 2006. Freed from the confines of his drum kit, French stepped into the front man role, singing and playing harmonica. Exploring songs from the Magic Band’s rich catalog, the group returned to these compositions with fervor, faithfully recreating them while simultaneously adding new sonic colors to the palette. Enraptured audiences across the empire reveled in the revived music, thrilled to hear the long-silent repertoire performed again.
This recording captures an especially memorable performance at the intimate Zodiac club in Oxford, England from June 6th, 2005. Riding the momentum of two successful concerts in Portsmouth and Penzance, the group was careful to keep their focus and not become overconfident. That night, surrounded by an enthusiastic audience that included many friends and acquaintances, the band played a transcendent set. As French relates in the album’s liner notes, “It was on this night when I was able to savor the words and music of Don Van Vliet and in a sense ‘re-discover’ the greatness of the work. I could feel the power of the compositions as they rained down upon the crowd, and I found myself laughing all over again at many of the double-entendres, and euphemisms.” How fortunate, then, that tape was rolling on this enchanted evening! John French personally mixed these eighteen tracks for release, ensuring that the zeitgeist of this special show would be preserved for all time. Sundazed celebrates this prized addition to the Magic Band’s discography, bringing it to you on compact disc and 180 gram vinyl 2-LP set for your listening pleasure. Gimme dat harp, boy!
1. Gimme Dat Harp Boy
2. Dropout Boogie
3. Diddy Wah Diddy
4. Low Yo Yo Stuff
5. When It Blows Its Stacks
6. Kandy Korn
7. Hair Pie
8. On Tomorrow
9. China Pig
10. Steal Softly Thru Snow
11. Abba Zaba
12. My Human Gets Me Blues
13. Alice In Blunderland
15. Evening Bell
16. The Floppy Boot Stomp
17. Big Eyed Beans From Venus
18. Mirror Man
The album is already on pre-order at Amazon:
(other purveyors of fine music are available)