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Umphrey's McGee

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Bio

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 of their many contemporaries. The members of Umphrey's McGee met at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. 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 studio 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 began a more and more rigorous rehearsal schedule. Half of the band had degrees in music, so emphasis was placed on constant precision. The bandmembers religiously studied tapes of their performances in order to improve them. While their record sales still hadn't reached high levels, they used live recordings to pave the way for gigs in parts of the country they'd never been to before. (A story circulates of the band selling out shows in Colorado before their first trip there due to the distribution of their live CDs.) In 1999, the band released a live recording titled Songs for Older Women, which also marked the debut of percussionist Andy Farag. In 2000, the band became a sextet with the addition of guitarist Jake Cinninger, a former member of a fellow South Bend group Ali Babba's Tahini, which had broken up, 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 (aka Graham Wiggins), 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. Their first studio album, Local Band Does O.K., came out in 2002. One year later, they released their first DVD, Live from the Lake Coast, which had been filmed in July 2002. It marked the last appearance on an Umphrey's McGee recording by Mirro, who left to go to medical school and was replaced on New Year's Eve 2002 by Kris Myers, who had a master's degree in jazz drumming. Local Band Does OKlahoma, their next live album, was also released in 2003. A second studio album, Anchor Drops, appeared in 2004 on the SCI Fidelity label run by fellow jam band the String Cheese Incident, 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. It was their first to crack Billboard's albums chart. Another studio effort, The Bottom Half, was culled from Safety in Numbers sessions; both it and the critically praised concert album Live at the Murat appeared in 2007. Mantis was released early in 2009, and it charted even higher than Safety in Numbers. The Manny Sanchez and Kevin Browning-produced Death by Stereo followed in 2011. Three years later, Similar Skin charted a progressive course through '80s rock and metal, becoming their highest-charting album to date. A one-day recording burst at Abbey Road in June 2014 produced The London Session, a mix of new material, road-tested songs never recorded in a studio, new arrangements of previously recorded tunes, and a cover of the Beatles' "I Want You (She's So Heavy)." It was released in April 2015. ~ Jesse Jarnow
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Albums by
Umphrey's McGee

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    21 songs

    On Air

    Hall of Fame: Class of 2015

    1 song

    On Air

    Can't Rock My Dream Face

    1 song

    On Air

    Life During Exodus

    1 song

    On Air

    National Loser Anthem

    1 song

    On Air

    Gone for Good (From "Reel to Real")

    10 songs

    On Air

    From the Hip: A Set of Improvisation

    22 songs

    On Air

    Hall of Fame: Class of 2014

    10 songs

    On Air

    The London Session

    14 songs

    On Air

    Hall of Fame: Class of 2013

    13 songs

    On Air

    Similar Skin

    17 songs

    On Air

    Live at the Fillmore 12/29/13

    14 songs

    On Air

    Hall of Fame: Class of 2012

    17 songs

    On Air

    Live from Summer Camp 05/25/13

    16 songs

    On Air

    Live from Beacon Theatre

    11 songs

    On Air

    Hall of Fame: Class of 2011

    10 songs

    On Air

    Death by Stereo

    16 songs

    On Air

    Hall of Fame: Class of 2010

    11 songs

    On Air

    Safety in Numbers

    14 songs

    On Air

    Anchor Drops

    14 songs

    On Air

    Local Band Does O.K.

    6 songs

    On Air

    Reskinned

    39 songs

    On Air

    Bottom Half

    12 songs

    On Air

    Death by Stereo

    6 songs

    On Air

    Death By Remix

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Top Songs by
Umphrey's McGee

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Spires
  3.   The Floor
  4.   Women, Wine, and Song
  5.   Turn & Run
  6.   Mantis
  7.   Red Tape
  8.   Ringo
  9.   Bridgeless
  10.   White Man's Moccassins
  11.   Rocker
  12.   2nd Self
  13.   Out of Order
  14.   Uncle Wally
  15.   Andy's Last Beer
  16.   Blue Echo
  17.   1348
  18.   Hurt Bird Bath
  19.   In the Kitchen
  20.   Padgett's Profile
  21.   Electric Improvisation
  22.   Higgins
  23.   The Triple Wide
  24.   The Fuzz
  25.   Passing
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Umphrey's McGee

    On Air

    Jam Bands

    On Air

    Prog Rock

    On Air

    Grateful Dead: DNA


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