Break Free was one of a handful of songs that sprung from early 2006 studio sessions with Mark Batson. It debuted on 6.13.06
in Toronto during a stretch of shows that also saw debuts of The Idea of You
, Kill the King
. Its lyrics are in the same vein as Hunger For the Great Light
, with thinly veiled sexual references sung over a sleazy baritone guitar riff and Boyd's electric mandolin.
The original structure of the song contained a main portion that included verses and choruses followed by an extended loose jam featuring a reserved sax solo by LeRoi, then a trumpet solo by Rashawn that increased the intensity to a climactic ending. It was played this way only three times. On 6.21.06
, it was played with a tightened structure that eliminated the final verse and LeRoi's solo. This edit reduced the song by a minute or so and accelerated the slow, patient build found in earlier versions. It stayed strong throughout the 2006 Summer Tour, mostly rotating nights with The Idea of the You. The two songs were played a combined 47 times on the tour after Break Free's debut, but only at the same show 5 times.
After the 2006 Summer Tour, it hadn't been played or mentioned again until it was played on the second night of the 2011 Atlantic City Caravan 6.25.11
. The song was played three times in four+ stops giving hope that it would make a full come back. While there is no studio version officially released, a studio recording captured via IEM played at a soundcheck through the soundboard has made its way around. It is obviously a rough cut, with hardly final editing done. It contains backing vocals and overdubs, but no jam after the proper song concludes.
The song has two live releases, the first on Live Trax 6 from 7.8.06
and a version featuring future traveling band member Jeff Coffin on sax from 8.15.06
that was released on the Warehouse 5 vol. 8 fan club disc. There is no official release of a version with the original structure yet.