Magic Beans: Growing Colorado Spacefunk-Ameritronica-Groove Grass

Magic Beans: Growing Colorado Spacefunk-Ameritronica-Groove Grass
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Who: Magic Beans / ClusterPluck
What: Americana
When: 2015-10-03
The Magic Beans, a four-piece progressive jam band hailing from Nederland, Colorado, will perform Sa
Brett Haynes
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The Magic Beans, a four-piece progressive jam band hailing from Nederland, Colorado, will perform Saturday, October 3 at the Hangar 9.

Self-described as a spacefunk-Ameritronica-groove grass band, these guys (Scott Hachey on guitar and vocals, Josh Appelbaum on bass, Casey Russell on keys, and Cody Wales on drums) move. The Magic Beans are currently wrapping up their Summer Jams tour, which is winding itself into early fall.

The Colorado jam influence is noticeably prevalent in their music, echoing hints of the String Cheese Incident and the Yonder Mountain String Band. The fusion aspect of their sound, however, sets them apart from the standard. The Magic Beans are heavy on the acoustic-jam side, but can turn on a dime to funk up an audience. Take, for instance, “Mountain Sky,” which is at its essence a newgrass jam. The synth weaves in and out of the acoustic instruments as if a curious, funkified alien got dropped into the mix.

The Magic Beans seamlessly infuse multigenre elements in and out of their songs throughout their live set. Speaking of which, all of their live shows are available for free streaming and download at <>. They have more than thirty releases available, some live and some studio recordings.

The Magic Beans also hosted a festival, Beanstalk, in the beautiful Colorado mountains. It sold out this year.

Nightlife caught up with Scott Hachey to chat a bit about the history and the future of the band.

How did you guys meet, and how long have you been playing together?

We met in Boulder, Colorado, through the local live music scene five years ago. We started jamming together for fun. We were in college and threw some pretty big parties at our house up in the canyon. We’d play music and people would love it, so we started a band. Then we’d play more parties and eventually venues.

Why do you release all of your music for free?

The music industry has changed and it’s important for people to be able to jam your music. It’s hard to convince people to pay for a band coming up when they haven’t heard you. Free music has a way of getting around and then people can come to the shows. We do sell our studio albums for money, but all our live shows are free. Everything should be free, I think, but that’s not how it is, ya know?

Are you planning on releasing a new studio album any time soon?

We’ll be going into the studio in December. There [is] no release date right now because we don’t wanna pressure ourselves to finish. When it’s ready, we’ll release it, hopefully in spring.... We’ll be doing a one-day studio thing in [New York City] this week. We might release it as an EP.

How do you feel about the influx of midwesterners to Colorado?

It’s a funny phenomenon. Myself and Casey Russell, our keyboardist, are Minnesota transplants. There’s lots of other midwestern people out in Colorado. It’s cool cause I like our good ol’ midwestern values.

How has the tour been going?

Tour has been great. We’ve gone from coast to coast of this great nation and I’m happy to say there are some good folks out there who like to have a good time. It’s a pleasure to meet everyone and share our music with them.

Who are some of your major influences who do not at all sound like how you sound?

We really like Ween, D’angelo, John Hartford, Jason Isbell, Hiatus Kaiyote, John Scofield, Pink Floyd, lots of stuff.

How does your songwriting process usually work?

We write songs individually and bring them to the group to kinda make them come to life. It’s a fairly open process, but myself and Casey write the songs.

What has been the most fulfilling moment in your music career?

This year’s Beanstalk Festival was the best weekend of my entire life. It’s our annual festival, and this year was just incredible. Sold out, up in the mountains with everyone getting down. Our team is the best, and it was amazing to share that with all 1,500 people that came out.

What is it about music that makes you want to play?

Everything. It’s science, art, math, patterns, emotion, and just all encompassing. It’s a universal language that anyone can understand. It’s magic.

Do you remember what about music inspired you to start pursuing it?

I remember just listening to the classic-rock channel in my hometown and I knew every word of all the songs when I was ten. I loved guitar solos and could remember them all, too. One day me and my dad were jamming Dire Straits and I was just like, ‘I want a guitar,’ and that was that. I loved playing and have been writing songs since middle school.

If your music was an animated television show, which would it be and why?

It’d be Rick and Morty because it’s irreverent and fun. We explore different worlds and goof around all while entertaining people with shenanigans.

If you could live the life and career of any musician living or dead other than yourself who would it be and why?

It’s gotta be Jerry Garcia. [laughs] May be cliché, but that guy had one hell of a life and inspired a lot of people.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Just play as much a possible. Meet some kids that like to play, too, and just get down on it. Have the best time ever, ‘cause music is great. Don’t get hung up on who is the best. Be original and put your soul into it, because no one can deny that.

who: Magic Beans / ClusterPluck

what: Americana

where: Hangar 9


when: Saturday, October 3