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Published: 2012/07/25

MMW Will Release Unplugged Free Magic This Fall

Medeski Martin & Wood will release a new live album, Free Magic, on September 25 via the band’s label, Indirecto Records. For the trio’s latest effort, MMW dip into their archives to present a collection of recordings documenting their first-ever acoustic tour in 2007.

“There‚Äôs a rhythmic and sonic connection that we have,” drummer Billy Martin said in a statement. “Listening is the most important thing for us. We’re having a conversation when we’re playing. The dynamic range is much greater in the acoustic setting. When we play electric, everything is turned up to 11 and it’s screaming. But with John on piano and Chris on upright, we can play with a much more nuanced touch. It’s a very different world and I love it.”

“This stuff brings it back to when we used to hang out in this rented shack in Hawaii and make music together,” he adds of the album’s music. “It was really just a little plywood cabin in the jungle with a tin roof. John had a prepared piano there that sounded like a gamelan instrument and I had these funky drums that had mold growing on them, or I might play the side of the shack or play the railing going up the stairs and make it sound like a xylophone. And we’d get into a lot of different stuff there, just having musical conversations in this intimate setting.”

MMW will support the project with another acoustic tour. The 11-city run will stretch across the Northeast in October.

Here’s a look at MMW’s acoustic dates

10/03 – Fall River, MA – Narrows Center for the Arts
10/04 – Glenside, PA – Keswick Theatre
10/05 – Boston, MA – Jordan Hall
10/06 – Albany, NY – Massry Center for the Arts
10/07 – Bethel Woods, NY – Bethel Woods
10/08 – Englewood, NJ – Bergen PAC
10/10 – Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse
10/11 – Stroudsburg, PA – Sherman Theatre
10/12 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount
10/13 – Washington, DC – Kennedy Center
10/14 – Annapolis, MD – Rams Head Tavern

Here’s a look at the track list for Free Magic:

1. Doppler
2. Blues For Another Day
3. Free Magic/Ballade In C Minor
4. Where’s Sly?
5. Nostalgia In Times Square/Angel Race


There are 4 comments associated with this post

Lemireacle July 25, 2012, 11:47:51

You can listen to the Free Magic version of “Doppler” at

RoyceIV July 25, 2012, 14:40:05

Doppler sounds great. Always excited about new MMW, hope they release this on vinyl…

Mac July 25, 2012, 19:16:09

Sweet — hope they will expand this tour and take it coast to coast. Acoustic MMW is huge!

dug July 26, 2012, 09:06:47

VERY COOL! But, and not to sound like a know-it-all, 2007 was NOT their first acoustic tour — see April 2006 + April-June 2000 (+ March 1999 had an acoustic run at Tonic followed by a string of shows with acoustic first sets), and so the Oct 2012 run will actually be like their 4th or 5th acoustic run of shows/tour. Accurate live show and setlist info can always be found here: ... we keep that site pretty up-to-date and have combed through most of the archival shows now — check it out!

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