Fifteen MarchFourth musicians traveled to New Orleans and spent ten days recording at The Parlor Recording Studio, making their fourth studio album, MAGIC NUMBER, their first in over five years. With Producer Ben Ellman (Galactic) and Engineer/Producer Mikael “Count” Eldridge (DJ Shadow, Tycho, Galactic, Trombone Shorty) at the helm, this album is full of the captivating grooves and brassy swagger you have come to expect from M4, plus a healthy dose of New Orleans magic, with guest appearance by Trombone Shorty, Stanton Moore (drums), and Matt Perrine (sousaphone). The album was fan-funded through Kickstarter and is out now!
“MAGIC NUMBER represents a shift in the band’s musical evolution, featuring more vocals and guitar than our previous records.” Founding member and band leader, John Averill, who also sings and plays electric bass says, “It is also the first record by ‘MarchFourth’ (Formerly MarchFourth! Marching Band; we officially dropped the “Marching Band” from our name).”
“Unlike M4's previous albums, recorded over weeks and months in our hometown of Portland, Oregon, getting the band to NOLA for a ten-day recording session really created an intensity and electricity you can feel throughout MAGIC NUMBER.” Founding member, cymbal player, singer, and tour manager Dan Stauffer recalls, “After long days at The Parlor, the band members would go out to party on Frenchman Street and sit in on sets all over the city, meanwhile the producers, Ben and Count, would create mixes late into the night: that's the mojo you can hear, everything going off for ten days straight.
“Working with a large group of talented songwriters and musicians in M4 made the project go really smoothly. Wherever the band goes they sort of set up camp… that led to a really creative working communal environment.” Producer Ben Ellman states, “It's always exciting to work with a band that is open to experimentation and different possibilities. MarchFourth came in wanting to expand their sonic pallet from what they've done previously.”
Ellman attests, “The individual songwriters all had a clear vision of where the song should end up… there are different styles on the record, but as a whole it's very cohesive. Very MarchFourth.” Four of the band’s members wrote the eleven songs on MAGIC NUMBER including John Averill, trombonist and singer Anthony Meade, trumpet player and singer, and project manager Paul Theodore Chandler, and electric guitarist and baritone sax Taylor Aglipay.
Stanton Moore makes a guest appearance on drums on the song "Push It Back" carrying the listener off on a royal litter of afro funk. Trombone Shorty blows a fiery solo on "Inventing the Wheel,” a musical journey into a heavy hypnotic groove; the track also features Ben Ellman on harmonica. Matt Perrine of Bonerama plays sousaphone on the uplifting and soul searching “Science (Free Your Mind)” which radiates all the energy of a street party in a full-on brassy explosion.
“I always feel like we are some freaky kind of Jack-in-the-box. Put twenty of us in a 45-foot bus for 6-8 hours a day, then open the door onto a stage and watch us explode!” Stauffer says, “Old greats like Basie and the Duke were some of my first favorite jazz artists in college. I love the fact that I tour and play with all these fantastic horn players and travel around in this bus. We are very much like the big bands of old, except we also have electric guitars, stilt-walkers, acrobats, and a psychedelically wide palette of musical styles and costumery.”
MarchFourth will continue to tour all over the United States in support of this album through the fall and into 2017 with their colorful stage show full of energy and groove. Widely recognized for the allure of their live show, MarchFourth breaks ground with their music in the forefront on MAGIC NUMBER.
MarchFourth’s ‘Magic Number’ Tour Dates
9/30-10/1 Fri-Sat - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co’s Oktoberfest - Chico, CA
10/4 Tue - Harlow's - Sacramento, CA
10/5 Wed - Don Quixote's International Music Hall - Felton, CA
10/6 Thu - Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA
10/7-8 Fri-Sat - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co’s Oktoberfest - Chico, CA
10/15 Sat - Fed Up Fest - Kansas City, MO
10/28 Fri - Revolution Hall (2 shows!) - Portland, OR
12/14 Wed - Domino Room - Bend, OR
12/15 Thu - The Egyptian Theater - Boise, ID
12/16 Fri - The Hive - Sandpoint, ID
12/17 Sat - Winthrop Barn Auditorium - Winthrop, WA
1/20/2017 Fri - Broadway Center for the Performing Arts - Tacoma, WA
1/21/2017 Sat - Vern Burton Center - Port Angeles, WA