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UMPHREY'S MCGEE

Crossover Prog • United States


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Umphrey's McGee picture
Umphrey's McGee biography
From www.umphreys.com
The History of Umphrey's McGee
Every day more and more people are tuning in and turning on to Umphrey's McGee. And for good reason. Like true sons of the American Midwest, Umphrey's McGee has risen to the upper echelons of the improvisational-rock scene through their seamless compositing of diverse musical influences, from progressive-rock to metal to funk to folk to jazz-fusion to classic song-based rock-and roll, all woven together with infectious melodies, thought-provoking lyrics, pristine harmonies, blistering musicianship, and rollicking grooves that keep dem bones a-shaking throughout the course of their patented sonic sagas. Their latest studio release Anchor Drops demonstrates with undeniable conviction the band's fluency in drawing from a wide variety of styles in the American popular music lexicon.

The band has solidified its reputation through a prolific national touring schedule and gripping performances at such high-profile gatherings as the Bonnaroo Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, and South By Southwest among others. True to their love of improvisation, Umphrey's McGee provides a unique experience with each performance. Everywhere they play, heads turn and ears prick up at the virtuoso playing, the acrobatic tempo changes and rhythmic shifts, as well as the captivating songs themselves. It's like a carnival of sound. "No one," extols Village Voice critic Richard Gehr, "is doing anything else as ambitiously musical as Umphrey's McGee." The attention they command has also prompted Michael Deeds of the Washington Post to call Umphrey's McGee "rock's undisputed lord of sonic shape-shifting."

This growing critical and popular esteem has led to the development of a fiercely loyal following. A burgeoning legion of fans, known alternately as "Umphreaks" and "McGeeks," is distinguished by its rabid burning and trading of live shows via the internet and at various clubs and concert venues, where committed street teams get the word out about the band and keep on spreading the music. The result has been numerous occasions when Umphrey's plays to sold-out houses in towns they've never visited before. The love of Umphrey's McGee music has spawned a volunteer grassroots publicity campaign as successful as that of any national band out there touring.

Devotees of "all cool music," the band identifies The Beatles and Led Zeppelin as primary influences with a reverence the members describe as "bi...
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Umphrey's McGee official website

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The London SessionThe London Session
NOTHING TOO FANCY MUSIC 2015
Audio CD$7.77
$8.41 (used)
Similar SkinSimilar Skin
MRI 2014
Audio CD$7.89
$7.89 (used)
Safety in NumbersSafety in Numbers
Sci Fidelity Records 2006
Audio CD$14.95
$3.98 (used)
Live At The MuratLive At The Murat
SCI Fidelity Records 2007
Audio CD$7.48
$7.00 (used)
Hall of Fame: Class of 2014Hall of Fame: Class of 2014
NOTHING TOO FANCY MUSIC 2015
Vinyl$26.58
$109.00 (used)
From the Hip: A Set of ImprovisationFrom the Hip: A Set of Improvisation
Nothing Too Fancy Music 2016
Audio CD$9.98
MantisMantis
Sci Fidelity Records 2009
Audio CD$6.98
$5.34 (used)
Death By StereoDeath By Stereo
ATO Records 2011
Audio CD$7.51
$3.94 (used)
The Bottom HalfThe Bottom Half
Sci Fidelity Records 2007
Audio CD$8.48
$3.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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UMPHREY`S MCGEE-LIVE AT THE MURAT CD NEW USD $13.25 Buy It Now 2 days
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UMPHREY'S McGEE Safety in Numbers CD Prog Rock/Jam Band USD $10.18 Buy It Now 25 days

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UMPHREY'S MCGEE has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

UMPHREY'S MCGEE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

UMPHREY'S MCGEE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.60 | 5 ratings
Greatest Hits Vol. III
1998
3.89 | 36 ratings
Local Band Does OK
2002
4.13 | 71 ratings
Anchor Drops
2004
3.46 | 38 ratings
Safety In Numbers
2006
3.58 | 32 ratings
The Bottom Half
2007
3.63 | 72 ratings
Mantis
2009
3.03 | 31 ratings
Death By Stereo
2011
3.99 | 38 ratings
Similar Skin
2014
3.85 | 20 ratings
The London Session
2015

UMPHREY'S MCGEE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.82 | 2 ratings
Songs For Older Women
1999
2.67 | 3 ratings
One Fat Sucka
2001
4.41 | 4 ratings
Local Band Does Oklahoma
2003
4.36 | 11 ratings
Live At The Murat
2007
3.00 | 1 ratings
Jimmy Stewart 2007
2008

UMPHREY'S MCGEE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.95 | 2 ratings
Live from the Lake Coast
2002
4.00 | 2 ratings
Wrapped Around Chicago
2005
4.00 | 2 ratings
Umphrey's Mcgee Live (Soundstage)
2009

UMPHREY'S MCGEE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

UMPHREY'S MCGEE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 3 ratings
Summer Sampler 2010
2010
5.00 | 1 ratings
Death by Remix
2012
5.00 | 1 ratings
Reskinned
2014

UMPHREY'S MCGEE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Anchor Drops by UMPHREY'S MCGEE album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.13 | 71 ratings

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Anchor Drops
Umphrey's McGee Crossover Prog

Review by aglasshouse

5 stars If Umphrey's in 2002 was considered doing OK, then Anchor Drops is doing fantastic. This album's a bit of a tie for loose ends hanging out on the prior album, ironing out most of the amateurism and lack of focus that was at all featured on it. The variety of unique instruments don't over-exert themselves and become cluttered nearly as much, giving the band a renewed sound of a seasoned progressive jam band. The dilettante voice of Brendan Bayliss (like on 'In The Kitchen' and 'Walletsworth') derives a particularly organic feel from the album, and even more interesting when juxtaposed with the complex percussions of Andy Farag and Kris Meyers. The band even strikes a few heavy chords every one and awhile, evoking a powerful presence that it doubtless better when enjoyed watching them do it in action.

Anchor Drops marks a point for the band as an indication of their moving away from their influences and becoming their own unit. All I can say is, godspeed!

 Local Band Does OK by UMPHREY'S MCGEE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.89 | 36 ratings

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Local Band Does OK
Umphrey's McGee Crossover Prog

Review by aglasshouse

3 stars A fate that jam bands can many times have is one that with so much time and effort focused on large and epic live performances, actual studio albums can come to be rather lackluster in effort. Phish and the Dead are the most notorious for not sinking to this level, and less well known is Umphrey's McGee, a band rising more in popularity as more and more albums are released. Obviously taking after Phish, the band's second and more "official" album Local Band Does Okay is more or less an emulation of the 80's band. Bayliss recreate Trey Anastasio's relaxed playing style, which can shift suddenly depending on something abrupt like a tempo change. Cinninger's drumming is much akin to that of Jon Fishman, the very eclectic yet talented drummer of Phish. This works well with the plethora of percussion instruments that McGee has to work with, and luckily are used in their on ways and not played in one cacophony. Speaking of plethora, the number of instruments that McGee crams into each song is quite extraordinary, yet does cause a lack of cohesion between tracks, making for a song list that varies wildly from one to the other. This could be positive depending on how you want an album's structure to be- for me, I prefer a certain level of unity when one song transitions to another, but of course that's just me.

In summary this album is a step in the right direction, yet the orchestra of goofy instruments is not quite enough to differentiate Umphrey's McGee from Picture of Nectar-era Phish. As for someone who does like Phish and listens to them on a regular basis, this is not much more than retreading of the same ground that has already been beaten, and interesting variations already composed. Again though, the album does show some promise for the band's future. This local band did OK.

 Similar Skin by UMPHREY'S MCGEE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.99 | 38 ratings

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Similar Skin
Umphrey's McGee Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars US band UMPHREY'S MCGEE was formed back in 1997, and has established itself as a popular staple in the US live circuit, more often than not regarded as a part of the so called jam band scene. Over the years they have released more than a dozen of live and studio albums, and appear to have established themselves fairly well among a key audience without ever becoming pigeonholed into any specific genre-oriented crowd as such. "Similar Skin" is their eighth studio production, and was released through their own label Hanging Brains Music in 2014.

Existing fans will have explored this album in depth by the time that this review is published, and while I suspect that the album may not have gone down all that well with their entire established fan base, I applaud the band for continuing to venture out to explore and expand their boundaries rather than replicating material of the exactly same nature as they have earlier. For those who haven't given this band a check yet, this particular production is one I'd recommend to those who know and enjoy bands like King's X and Rush as they appeared in the late '80s.

 Songs For Older Women by UMPHREY'S MCGEE album cover Live, 1999
4.82 | 2 ratings

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Songs For Older Women
Umphrey's McGee Crossover Prog

Review by Umph1348

5 stars This is a rare and much sought after dis from "Improg" giants Umphrey's McGee. While Kris Myers and Jake Cinninger are not part of this outfit (people who are familiar with this band or the "jam scene" know just how talented those players are), this live recording represents a burgeoning band that today (Late January 2015) is one of if the not the MOST tight and talented touring outfits on the plantet. If that statement seems like hyperbole, I encourage you to listen to almost any UM show (they can be found in countless places on the internet/YouTube/archive.org for free) and disagree. UM is as proggy as any band I can think of and are true masters of improvisation. In any case, this album represents their humble beginnings but also demonstrates the talent, humor and depth of musicality that made this band what it is today... Certainly "for collectors" as it is hard to track down but a "5" nonetheless because of what this album means to music history (read the first live release from one for the greatest live touring acts to take the stage, 2000+ shows and counting...)
 Similar Skin by UMPHREY'S MCGEE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.99 | 38 ratings

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Similar Skin
Umphrey's McGee Crossover Prog

Review by Slartibartfast
Prog Reviewer

4 stars For those of you who were turned on by Mantis but turned off my much of Death By Stereo - you should give them another try with this album.

More rock oriented but not as quite as progressive as Mantis was, still really close.

Nothing really long but the funk that might have disappointed some in the last album is gone. Instead you get a lot of concise proggy songs, very crossover.

So far for the 2014 releases I find my self returning to this one the most often.

This is a very linear album. Lyrically it is almost a concept or theme album about relationships.

 Anchor Drops by UMPHREY'S MCGEE album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.13 | 71 ratings

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Anchor Drops
Umphrey's McGee Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Yes I am a huge Phish phan. Are these guys like Phish? Not much from what I hear. Sure there are a few occasional similarities, but not enough to be considered a copy or a rip off. The biggest difference is Umphrey's McGee is a lot more progressive, especially on this album. I love this album. I am not going to say much about it, because there are already some long reviews of the album and I honestly think most of what needs to be said has been said. Now it's time for you to experience the album for yourself. At times, this is very complex and progressive, at other times some songs are simpler and more standard, but never boring. The mix of the styles works here. There are many surprises throughout. That's all I'm going to say about the album. Get out there and discover these guys now! They are not getting enough attention!
 Mantis by UMPHREY'S MCGEE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.63 | 72 ratings

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Mantis
Umphrey's McGee Crossover Prog

Review by Suedevanshoe

3 stars Happy prog- meets jam band- Umphrey's McGee roared out of Chicago with this gem from '09. Lengthy compositions meet superb melodic construction on this well-executed album.

Crossover prog is a perfect niche for this record--it has it's phish moments, Mr Bungle, even strains of bands like Moe and God Street Wine. It is most assuredly progressive though--and a fine example that progressive music does not have to be dreary, dark, intellectual, and drudgerous. It's been well described as party prog, a title that fits.

For the late 2k's, the record works, and should appeal to many prog lovers, and even those not far outside progressive circles.

 Mantis by UMPHREY'S MCGEE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.63 | 72 ratings

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Mantis
Umphrey's McGee Crossover Prog

Review by bb1319

4 stars 4.0 stars

I had some friends who really loved Umphrey's McGee (but they are gone to Berklee now), and I decided to give them a shot. I decided to get this as my introduction because it was supposed to be their most progressive effort. After owning it for about 6 months now, I have decided that it a great album. Sure, it's not the most progressive work ever created. It's more like Phish meets Zappa meets Porcupine Tree, if that's even possible. I don't particularly enjoy the all-around happy feel to the album (I usually enjoy much darker things), but the album has fantastic moments. The title track is probably the strongest on the album. Not to mention that the part with an orchestra at about 9 minutes in is fantastic, probably the single greatest moment on the album.

"1348" is another highlight for me. I love the beginning to the song. It has a certain prog metal element to it, but when the vocals come in, it is obviously not. I don't particularly enjoy the vocals on the album, however. I find them to be a little too standard and "American" singer-type, if that makes sense.

Overall, highly recommended for fans of prog metal who have a humorous side and don't mind standard vocals.

 Death By Stereo by UMPHREY'S MCGEE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.03 | 31 ratings

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Death By Stereo
Umphrey's McGee Crossover Prog

Review by pociluk

2 stars Death By Boredom. After turning out their best album in "Mantis", UM decides to go with a simpler approach overall. "Search 4" is the only song worthy of being on "Mantis". The new thing is funk. It seems like they are overly enamored with it Songs like "Booth Love", "Deeper", and "Wellwishers" all fall victim of a bad attempt to get funky. A prog band still desperately trying to cling to their jam band roots. Move on, guys. "Conduit" had potential but it too fails due to another jam attempt.

I am very disappointed. I thought for sure UM was indeed progressing rather they are regressing and it isn't pretty. Apparently they couldn't handle being focused enough to crank out another prog epic like "Mantis" but at least we have that. 1.5 stars which I round up for no good reason.

 Death By Stereo by UMPHREY'S MCGEE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.03 | 31 ratings

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Death By Stereo
Umphrey's McGee Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars A big disappointment, because yeah, I was kind of expecting follow-up worthy of Mantis. The problem is that this album is trying to be many genres at once. But not your normal kind of "variable" (I would say Eclectic, but the term has specific meaning here on PA), but Death By Stereo takes this even further - almost as if each song was and needed to be different. That wouldn't be a problem per se, but the troubles begin when I cannot listen half of these songs because of it, they are simply unlistenable. Well, well, it's getting worse - there is a strong pop presence as well.

3(-), sadly.

Thanks to Krigsman for the artist addition.

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