UMPHREY'S MCGEE


BIO: Umphrey's McGee stand revealed as consummate musical alchemists, deftly reconfiguring sounds from rock's vast panoply of styles." (Entertainment Weekly). Fans who have followed Umphrey's McGee for any period of time know that there are only two guarantees: you never know what you’re going to get, and Umphrey's always delivers. How else can a band be relentlessly innovative in both music and fan relations for 13-plus years? The latest expected twist arrives in the form of their newest studio album (and first with ATO Records) Death By Stereo (9/13), the follow up to 2009's Mantis. Mantis surprised fans with a collection of music never before played, and surprised the music industry with an innovative marketing campaign that catapulted the album past the Heatseekers chart, debuting at #62 on Billboard's "Top 200" chart without any radio play or television appearances. Death By Stereo's concise melodic approach and accessible songwriting is everything fans had hoped for, but not what anyone expected. Death By Stereo is disarmingly straightforward. Sure, you can dance to it, but the clever arrangements, meticulously crafted chordal interplay, and virtuoso instrumentation put Umphrey's McGee in a category all their own. "Our live show is malleable and every night is its own thing, where you never know where things are going to go," keyboardist Joel Cummins explains. "People aren't used to us playing three-and-a-half to four-minute songs back to back, so this album is a completely different experience than our live show, which is certainly something we were trying to do." Whereas this band's stellar reputation is based on marathon concerts that mix original, technically demanding tunes with complex epics and, playful covers (ranging from Toto to Metallica), it has chosen the same kind of attention to melody, songcraft, and musicianship that make those artists stand apart. Umphrey's chemistry, however, is something all its own, built upon a relentless live schedule of 100-plus shows a year, a solid base of musical training, and friendships that go back to when they walked in the shadows of the Golden Dome at the University of Notre Dame. "The thing we realized pretty quickly is that music is secondary to our relationships," guitarist/vocalist Brendan Bayliss points out. "If our relationships aren't strong, it heavily affects the music. Some bands don't speak to one another, they aren't friends, and I just don't know how that works." While competition was admittedly slim when they formed at Notre Dame in 1997, the band immediately became a campus favorite. When Umphrey's moved to Chicago, it brought its Fighting Irish bonafides with it, so its initial hometown Windy City shows were packed to the gills with South Bend alumni and friends. The underground network of tapers helped spread the word about the band, and the ND connection also served the guys on the road. "The first time we went out west it was crazy," Bayliss recalls. "It didn't matter what town it was -- we knew somebody. I didn't realize the reach of Notre Dame until after I graduated. I didn't appreciate Notre Dame when I was there. Back then, I wouldn't be caught dead in Notre Dame gear, but now I'm swimming in it and I wear it with pride." These days, the band plays for crowds from all over the US and beyond, and incorporates a sophisticated mix of cutting-edge technology, including a stellar light show. Its Stew Art concerts redefine live music as we know it, with fans texting to choose the direction of the band's set, while the four-quarter UMBowls (each quarter has a different interactive theme) have quickly become landmark events not to be missed. Umphrey's tight-knit relationship with its rabid fanbase includes the band making recordings available of every live show since 2006, monthly podcasts, an extremely active presence on Facebook and Twitter, and digital “Easter Egg” hunts. This has led to a strong following throughout the U.S. and to successful international tours of Europe, Australia and Japan, where fans screamed out song titles even though they couldn’t speak a lick of English. To date, the band has sold more than nearly 2 million tracks online and Death By Stereo will only increase their reach. The album is produced by sonic wizards Manny Sanchez (Smashing Pumpkins, Fall Out Boy) and Kevin Browning, whose deep knowledge of analog and digital gear has helped the band craft its sound for years. With the band members also assisting with production, DBS was recorded at Sanchez’s The IV Lab Studios in Chicago, with the exception of the raw Rolling Stones-y "Wellwishers," which was done at Cinninger's home-studio in Michigan. The band now makes it a habit to keep at least some material fresh for the album, and the powerful one-two punch of multi-layered "Miami Virtue" and hard-charging “Domino Theory” do so on DBS. Umphrey's also offers a muscular studio version of "The Floor," which was an indisputable hit of 2009s Rothbury Festival where the band had 40,000 fans captivated. Moving from the Zeppelin-like groove of "Conduit" to the soulful "Booth Love" and the panoramic "Deeper," DBS reveals an incredibly broad range to the band's songwriting. Bringing it all back home for both fans and the band, the album closes with "Hajimemashite," a song that's title translates from Japanese as "nice to meet you" and whose origins can be traced all the way back to the band's earliest days. "'Hajimemashite' is one that we've been playing since our first show," Cummins says. "It's morphed and we've given it a unique studio treatment that captures its essence, but isn't how we play it live. I think that will have some resonance with our fans. I like the idea of getting our fans excited with a mix of new and older material." One of the perks of Umphrey's McGee is that it allows the band members to be fans themselves, having shared the stage with heroes like Huey Lewis, guitarist Stanley Jordan, John Oates, and jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman, to name a few. Umphrey's has even backed Lewis, gospel legend Mavis Staples and Sinead O'Connor for a classic version of "I'll Take You There," and they are regularly joined onstage by their peers. "I can't believe that we are 13 and half years in," Bayliss points out with a mix of wonder and pride. "If someone told me that I would have been thinking: 'No way! But sign me up. I'll take it.'"

Latest Tweets

umphreysmcgee Twitter 7/6 @ 9:47 AM
umphreysmcgee - If you live in these 6 states, GO VOTE! Take the time to verify your voter registration, get vote-by-mail info, k… https://t.co/fcQshE2Ynk
Retweet | Reply | Link   

umphreysmcgee Twitter 7/4 @ 12:15 PM
umphreysmcgee - 🤘🇺🇸 https://t.co/ZjFK15C4V6
Retweet | Reply | Link   

umphreysmcgee Twitter 7/3 @ 4:00 PM
umphreysmcgee - Join Brendan in his basement, live on the #umphreys youtube page at 9pm CST tonight. He'll drink wine, play songs,… https://t.co/sKD6cDQcWc
Retweet | Reply | Link   


MORE TWEETS

Latest Articles


Justice Comes Alive Raises $55,000 for the Plus1 For Black Lives Fund with Virtual Mu Photo Justice Comes Alive Raises $55,000 for the Plus1 For Black Lives Fund with Virtual Music Festival
by TV News Desk - July 01, 2020

The live music community came together to raise funds and awareness for racial equality with the new one-day, donation-based virtual event, Justice Comes Alive....
Northwest String Summit Adds Leftover Salmon, Shovels & Rope, Goose, & More Photo Northwest String Summit Adds Leftover Salmon, Shovels & Rope, Goose, & More
by TV News Desk - March 04, 2020

For the droves of fans who block off dates months in advance, repeatedly caravan with friends to North Plains, Oregon, and grow their festival families year after year, Northwest String Summit continues to add world-class entertainment to their already stacked lineup for their 19th annual event. Bri...
Doom Flamingo & Nobide Collaborate for 'Telepathy' Remix Photo Doom Flamingo & Nobide Collaborate for 'Telepathy' Remix
by TV News Desk - February 21, 2020

Live-electronic trio Nobide has collaborated with Doom Flamingo on a remix of the latter's single, “ Telepathy .” As Doom Flamingo keyboardist Ross Bogan explains, the intention for the original version of “Telepathy” was simple in that “We just want to make people dance. It's a ritual.” In that lig...
Jack Johnson, Cage The Elephant and The 1975 to Headline Forecastle 2020 Photo Jack Johnson, Cage The Elephant and The 1975 to Headline Forecastle 2020
by TV News Desk - February 12, 2020

Embarking on its 18th year at sea, the Forecastle Festival will return this July 17-19, 2020, featuring iconic acoustic rocker Jack Johnson; 2020 Grammy-winning Kentucky natives Cage The Elephant; and pop rock sensation The 1975....
Levitate Music & Arts Festival Announces 2020 Lineup, Featuring Jack Johnson, Tash Su Photo Levitate Music & Arts Festival Announces 2020 Lineup, Featuring Jack Johnson, Tash Sultana, & More!
by TV News Desk - February 04, 2020

The ever-evolving and greatly loved Levitate Music & Arts Festival is proud to announce the 2020 lineup for its eighth annual  event happening July 10-12, 2020. The team at Levitate has been thinking about summer all winter long and is proud to announce a lineup to warm the soul: Jack Johnson, Phil ...
Umphrey's McGee Release New Single 'Suxity' Photo Umphrey's McGee Release New Single 'Suxity'
by TV News Desk - January 16, 2020

Improv-rock group Umphrey's McGee have always had an uncanny ability to melt down any genre of music, blend the molten styles, and hammer forge a new sound for each new song they write. While writing and recording their newest single, “Suxity,” the ingredients were—in guitarist and co-writer Jake Ci...
Kyle Hollingsworth Releases New Song 'Tufnel's Retreat' Photo Kyle Hollingsworth Releases New Song 'Tufnel's Retreat'
by TV News Desk - December 27, 2019

Kyle Hollingsworth has released his new single “Tufnel's Retreat,” the first track off the forthcoming EP 2020 due out in February. The song premiered exclusively via Relix earlier this week....
Umphrey's McGee Release New Single 'Ride On Pony' Photo Umphrey's McGee Release New Single 'Ride On Pony'
by TV News Desk - December 12, 2019

Hot on the heels of their first annual Woodlands Music and Arts Festival in Charleston, SC, and gearing up for their first annual Rockjavik event in Reykjavik, Iceland, world-renowned improv-rockers Umphrey's McGee are ready to release new music. Earlier this year, on a show day in New Haven, CT, th...
Supernatural Beings Announce UM Late-Night Show With Joel Cummins, Jake Cinninger & M Photo Supernatural Beings Announce UM Late-Night Show With Joel Cummins, Jake Cinninger & More
by TV News Desk - November 26, 2019

Supernatural Beings will play a late-night show during Umphrey's McGee's upcoming three-night run in New York City. The show will take place on Saturday, January 18th at Sony Hall following Umphrey's McGee's second of two nights at the Beacon Theatre. The band lineup for this special performance wil...
Umphrey's McGee Announce Inaugural Woodlands Festival Photo Umphrey's McGee Announce Inaugural Woodlands Festival
by TV News Desk - August 22, 2019

Prolific rockers Umphrey's McGee are proud to announce The Woodlands Fall Music & Arts Festival, a brand new event happening in Charleston, SC, on November 8-9. In addition to two nights—four sets total—of Umphrey's McGee, The Woodlands lineup includes Big Something, CBDB, Empire Strikes Brass, Heat...
Freekbass Announces Tour Dates Photo Freekbass Announces Tour Dates
by TV News Desk - August 09, 2019

Freekbass, hailed by the legendary Bootsy Collins as “the new spiritual warrior for the funk,” has served up his new album All The Way This. All The Way That. on the exciting new Color Red imprint out now. He is taking the new album on tour kicking off with the opening performance at the Cincinnati ...
Magic City Hippies Share WHAT WOULD I DO Video Photo Magic City Hippies Share WHAT WOULD I DO Video
by BWW News Desk - August 08, 2019

Magic City Hippies have shared the video for their new track 'What Would I Do'. In June the band announced their debut LP Modern Animal and shared the album's title track. The band has also announced a fall tour and summer live dates, including U.S. Festival appearances and select dates with Umphrey...
Resonance Completes Lineup For September 2019 Festival Photo Resonance Completes Lineup For September 2019 Festival
by BWW News Desk - August 02, 2019

Resonance Music and Arts Festival, presented by Essential Productions, Papadosio, and Mammoth Music Group, just keeps getting better! Earlier this month, Resonance teased fans with the addition of several artists on their social media channels. Progressive rock band Umphrey's McGee, Vermont jam-rock...
Freekbass Announces New Album 'All The Way This. All The Way That.' Photo Freekbass Announces New Album 'All The Way This. All The Way That.'
by TV News Desk - April 16, 2019

Freekbass, hailed by the legendary Bootsy Collins as “the new spiritual warrior for the funk,” is ready to serve up his new album All The Way This. All The Way That. on the exciting new Color Red imprint on May 31, 2019. The highly anticipated album embodies the past, present, and future of funk mus...
High Sierra Music Festival Announces 2019 Late Night Lineup Photo High Sierra Music Festival Announces 2019 Late Night Lineup
by BWW News Desk - April 11, 2019

 High Sierra Music Festival's famed late night venues will be filled with music fans once again for this year's late-night shows from July 4th to July 7th in Quincy, CA.  Ticketed separately from the main festival, High Sierra late nights offer festival-goers a chance to party into the wee hours of ...
Spafford Announces Summer Vacation 2019 Tour Photo Spafford Announces Summer Vacation 2019 Tour
by BWW News Desk - March 25, 2019

Just as Spafford's 40-date winter tour comes to a close, the band has announced their 2019 Summer Vacation Tour. The tour includes several festival performances including SummerCamp, Electric Forest, Camp Bisco, Great South Bay Music Festival, and Summer Meltdown as well as a date at Red Rocks and t...
High Sierra Music Festival Announces Dispatch, Steel Pulse, Tauk, and More Photo High Sierra Music Festival Announces Dispatch, Steel Pulse, Tauk, and More
by TV News Desk - March 14, 2019

High Sierra Music Festival, held July 4-7 in Quincy, CA, is proud to announce more artist additions for 2019. In addition to the previously announced, already show-stopping lineup, HSMF is pleased to welcome independent-music legends Dispatch to the top of the festival's bill. The announcement also ...
Ghost-Note Extends 2019 Spring Tour Photo Ghost-Note Extends 2019 Spring Tour
by TV News Desk - January 29, 2019

The powerhouse ensemble known as Ghost-Note kicked off 2019 accompanying Lettuce on tour, which saw exciting sit-ins and collaborations throughout the run. Early March will see the band join Umphrey's McGee for a handful of tour dates, but after last night's highly successful headlining performance ...
Doom Flamingo Gears Up For 2019 With New Single, Midwood Entertainment Partnership An Photo Doom Flamingo Gears Up For 2019 With New Single, Midwood Entertainment Partnership And More
by BWW News Desk - January 08, 2019

Charleston-based Doom Flamingo have risen to great heights since their initial recording sessions in May of 2018. They've released four new singles (the newest of which can be heard here), played their first live shows including a house-crumbling late night show in Atlanta during Umphrey's McGee's N...
Michal Menert, The Music District, and Ableton Present the 'Michal Menert Academy' Photo Michal Menert, The Music District, and Ableton Present the 'Michal Menert Academy'
by TV News Desk - December 07, 2018

Michal Menert, The Music District, and Ableton are very pleased to announce that the 2019 Michal Menert Academy will take place January 18th and 19th at The Music Academy in Fort Collins, Colorado.  At this multi-day workshop dedicated to bringing music 'From the Bedroom to the Stage,' attendees wit...
Spafford Announce 2019 Winter Tour Photo Spafford Announce 2019 Winter Tour
by TV News Desk - November 28, 2018

Spafford have announced plans for an epic 2019 North American tour. The 40-date winter trek gets underway January 30 at Minneapolis, MN's Fine Line Music Cafe and then visits major markets, colleges and ski towns across the country through a two-night-stand at Phil Lesh's Terrapin Crossroads in San ...
Cory Wong Announces Collaboration with Dave Koz Photo Cory Wong Announces Collaboration with Dave Koz
by TV News Desk - November 20, 2018

Earlier this year, guitarist Cory Wong set out on his pursuit of 'The Koz Nod,' what he described in his July Social Experiment video as, 'when Dave Koz gives you the nod.' Since Wong's proclamation of this new goal and his unwavering desire to be the 'millennial ambassador of smooth jazz,' he's bee...
Michal Menert and the Pretty Fantastics New LP 'From the Sea' Premieres at Glide Photo Michal Menert and the Pretty Fantastics New LP 'From the Sea' Premieres at Glide
by BWW News Desk - November 15, 2018

Michal Menert and the Pretty Fantastics are pleased to announce that their new LP From the Sea (out 11.16)....
Michal Menert and the Pretty Fantastics Premiere Single SUMMER'S GONE At Relix Photo Michal Menert and the Pretty Fantastics Premiere Single SUMMER'S GONE At Relix
by BWW News Desk - November 02, 2018

Michal Menert and the Pretty Fantastics are happy to announce that 'Summer's Gone', the new single from the forthcoming LP From the Sea (out 11.16) has premiered at Relix via:...
Keller Williams' Pettygrass to Perform at the CCA on 11/15 Photo Keller Williams' Pettygrass to Perform at the CCA on 11/15
by BWW News Desk - October 15, 2018

Keller Williams and eclectic bluegrass quintet The Hillbenders will perform live at the Capitol Center for the Arts (CCA) in Downtown Concord, NH on Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 7:30PM, in a new Tom Petty-inspired project titled “Keller Williams' PettyGrass”....