Umphrey’s McGee—Brendan Bayliss (guitar and vocals), Joel Cummins (keys and vocals), Ryan Stasik (bass), Andy Farag (percussion), Jake Cinninger (guitar and vocals) and Kris Myers (drums and vocals)—the progressive-rock group that began at the University of Notre Dame, is part jam (their live shows feature extended exploratory improvisation) and part ham (their first studio release was called Greatest Hits, Vol. III). The band allowed taping of their shows from the very beginning, and as those shows were traded across the country, Umphrey’s (above, covering “Comfortably Numb”) earned a following in places the band hadn’t even played yet. They’ve been a national touring band ever since. Their 11th studio long-player, It’s Not Us (stream it below), which celebrates the band’s 20th anniversary, dropped last Friday. According to Glide Magazine, “It’s a tightly constructed, densely layered album with a dark tone that is occasionally split by beams of light and another unique addition to the Umphrey’s McGee studio canon.” And per Live for Live Music, “The result is one of their best records yet; certainly one of their most ambitious.” Touring behind the new music, Umphrey’s McGee are back in New York City this week for three nights at the Beacon Theatre, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Tag Archives: Joel Cummins
“Leave it to an act who named their 1998 debut Greatest Hits, Vol. 3 to create this crazy quilt, innovative and unique mash-up of disparate songs, played live,” said American Songwriter of last year’s Zonkey (stream it below). “Taking a concept initially conceived during Umphrey’s McGee’s Halloween shows to the studio, the sextet displays their wildly diverse influences and inspirations by grabbing parts of two, three and sometimes four tunes, cutting and pasting them together, and performing the result with no overdubs, without a net, in the studio.” Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the park. The stalwart jamband plays a scintillating music that seeks out wide-open spaces and fills them with long-form improvisation. They’ll find plenty of room to jam in the middle of Central Park when they play SummerStage on Friday night. For the diehards there will sure to be set-list surprises and look-ma-no-hands acrobatics for next-day social media deconstructing. For the curious and uninitiated, Umphrey’s will be sure to impress with their two-guitar, part-heavy-metal/part jazz-prog-rock fusion. Up-and-comer jammers Aqueous will be grooving the park early, so bring your dancing shoes and be ready to rock. —A. Stein | @Neddyo
Tags: Aaron Stein, Andy Farag, Aqueous, Brendan Bayliss, Central Park, Dave Loss, Evan McPhaden, Greatest Hits Vol. 3, Jake Cinninger, Joel Cummins, Kris Myers, Live Music, Mike Gantzer, Music, New York City, Preview, Rob Houk, Ryan Stasik, SummerStage, Umphrey's McGee, Video
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