80/35 Afterparty with Umphreyâs McGee

Umphrey’s McGee

A jam band coming out of the Midwest in the mid-'90s, Umphrey's McGee edged toward the Frank Zappa side of the improv rock scale, as opposed to the Grateful Dead/Allman Brothers Band direction espoused by many of their contemporaries, like the Big Wu. The members of Umphrey's McGee met at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN. The original four bandmembers (keyboardist Joel Cummins, guitarist Brendan Bayliss, bassist Ryan Stasik, and drummer Mike Mirro) had been playing in various campus bands when they got together in December 1997, naming themselves after a cousin of Bayliss. With the national jam band infrastructure already in place, the band quickly began disseminating their live shows and soon released their first album, Greatest Hits, Vol. 3. The fourth-generation jam band often included songs by Phish and moe. in their live sets, along with the usual selection of wacky covers.

The quartet won a large following in the South Bend area. As bandmembers graduated, the group instated a more and more rigorous rehearsal schedule. Half of the band had degrees in music, so emphasis was placed on constant precision. In 1999, the band released a live recording, titled Songs for Older Women, their first recording to feature percussionist Andy Farag. In 2000, the band became a sextet with the addition of guitarist Jake Cinninger, and they made the move to the bustling metropolis of Chicago. From their new home base, the band went on two-week jaunts throughout the Midwest, occasionally hitting other markets and sharing the stage with a variety of musicians, including Dr. Didg, the Chicago-based blues harmonica player Sugar Blue, Béla Fleck, Topaz, and many others.

On New Year's Eve 2000, Umphrey's McGee released their third album, another live disc, titled One Fat Sucka. Local Band Does O.K., their first studio album, came out in 2002. In 2003, they released their first DVD, Live from the Lake Coast, which had been filmed in July 2002. Local Band Does OKlahoma, their next live album, also was released in 2003. A second studio album, Anchor Drops, appeared in 2004 on fellow jam band the String Cheese Incident's SCI Fidelity label, and a second DVD, Wrapped Around Chicago: New Years at the Riv, was issued in 2005. In 2006, Umphrey's McGee released their third studio album, Safety in Numbers. The studio effort Bottom Half and the concert album Live at the Murat both followed in 2007. Mantis appeared early in 2009. - Jesse Jarnow, AllMusicGuide

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80/35 Afterparty with Umphrey’s McGee

Saturday, July 6 · Doors 10:00 PM / Show 11:00 PM at Wooly's