After 10 years of playing together in the jam band festival circuit, Magic Beans had seen quite a bit. Just as the band was coming into its own and rising to the top of the next generation of improvisational artists, the COVID-19 pandemic halted the perpetually touring act in its tracks. Over the past year, the Beans have been sequestered in their home base of Denver, CO, making connections with fans through livestreams and online festival appearances.
Yet, just like some of the best artists have done throughout the pandemic, Magic Beans rolled with the punches and set a new path forward. For the first time in their career, the band went about creating an album solely from a studio setting, rather than the time-honored tradition of road-testing songs for years before recording them in the studio. This bold new experiment birthed Magic Beans’ third record, the double LP Slice of Life, out now.
“It’s a completely different approach when you’re coming at this without the live show in the picture at all. It was a totally fresh and truly studio-oriented experience,” the band said in a statement.
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One of the happy accidents of the pandemic was that it gave the band the time and energy needed to craft the 14-track offering. With no tour looming overhead, the band dug into the production alongside audio engineer David Glasser, whose extensive body of work includes a fair share of Grateful Dead recordings.
Magic Beans were also able to enlist friend and colleague Torrin Daniels, who himself was available to collaborate due to an inability to tour. Though Slice of Life is filled with different musical explorations by the Beans, the sprawling, bluegrass-infused single “Footprints In The Rain” featuring Daniels on banjo ranks as one of the most adventurous on the album.
“We’re always listening to new music, as well as the classics, and try to stay inspired to push the envelope and reach new musical realms,” the band said.
With the return of live music drawing ever closer, the Magic Beans won’t be homebodies much longer. The band’s album release party on May 8th at Mishawaka Amphitheatre in Colorado sold out weeks ago, and their calendar continues to fill up by the day. Even when the Magic Beans do get back out on the road, fans will always be able to look back at this extraordinary time in music history with the band’s own Slice of Life.
Stream Magic Beans’ new album, Slice of Life via the players below, and click here to order the 2 LP vinyl.
Magic Beans – Slice of Life