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The Muffins

Almost entirely instrumental, the Muffins' music was a unique blend of Canterbury progressive, fusion, improvisation and much more. The group was formed in the Washington, DC area in the early '70s by Dave Newhouse (keyboards), Billy Swan (vocals, bass and guitar), Tom Scott (woodwinds) and Michael Zentner (guitar and violin). Stuart Abramowitz played drums from August 1975 until July 1976. This group recorded the home and studio demo recordings heard on the Chronometers CD.

Zentner and Abramowitz left in July 1976. Drummer Paul Sears joined the next month, setting the stage for the group's most popular period. The group released Manna/Mirage in 1978, and soon after released a limited-edition, live LP called Air Fiction. The band also worked with Fred Frith on his solo LP, Gravity. Frith produced the band's next LP, 185, in late 1980. The Muffins disbanded six months later. In the early '90s, the band played at a private party, resulting in "Hobart Got Burned" on the Unsettled Scores compilation (Cuneiform,1995), and it wasn't until July 16, 1998, that group came together again -- this time for a reunion show in Washington, D.C. This reunion lasted, leading to a number of concerts by the Muffins over the next several years. Tom Scott, Paul Sears, Billy Swan and Dave Newhouse also hit the studios in 2001. ~ Jim Dorsch
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Double Negative

1. The Highlands

2. Writing Blind

3. Choombachang

4. The Ugly Buttling

5. The Man In The Skin-Painted Suit

6. Childhood's End

7. Exquisite Corpse

8. They Come On Unknown Nights

9. Cat's Game

10. Stethorus Punctum

11. Dawning Star

12. 5:00 Shadow

13. Metropolis

14. Angel From Lebanon

15. Frozen Charlotte

16. Maya

17. The Two Georges

x

Track List: Bandwidth

1. Walking The Duck

2. World Maps

3. Down From The Sun Tower

4. Impossible John

5. Military Road

6. Dear Mona

7. People In The Snow

8. Essay R

9. Out Of The Boot

10. East Of Diamond

11. Sam's Room

12. 3 Pennies

x

Track List: Open City

1. Queenside

2. Hobart Got Burned

3. Horsebones

4. Antidote To Drydock

5. Zoom Resume

6. Boxed & Crossed

7. Under Dali's Wing

8. Vanity, Vanity

9. Dancing In Sunrise, Switzerland

10. Blind Arch

11. Expected Freedom

12. In The Red

13. Not Alone

14. Open City

Comments

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rserva
An old friend of Paul Sears and his sister (RIP, Marianne), we grew up in their basement in NWDC.
Report as inappropriate
been a big fan since 79 GREAT S**T!!
Report as inappropriate
Reminiscent of Soft Machine with good musicianship and interesting arrangements .
Report as inappropriate
Great Band, simply put.
Report as inappropriate
Yeah, Paul, tell me about it. I remember The Muffins with Fred Frith at the Great Hall, JHU, in 1980 or '81. Perhaps David Moss was there as well, at that time. Billy Marks and B-more's band Neige was inspired by RIO, including you!!

Thanks for posting.
Report as inappropriate
Yeah, cool find here in Pandoraland.
Report as inappropriate
The Muffins are great stuff!
Report as inappropriate
Nice Zappa/Crimso n combo. Not much besides the sum of their parts, but decent listening all the same.

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