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      Umphrey's McGee in Washington


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      October 31, 2019

      Thursday   8:00 PM

      901 Wharf Street Southwest
      Washington, District of Columbia 20024

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      Umphrey's McGee

      with Star Kitchen
      The music of Umphreys McGee unfolds like an unpredictable conversation between longtime friends. Its six participantsBrendan Bayliss [guitar, vocals], Jake Cinninger [guitar, vocals], Joel Cummins [keyboards, piano, vocals], Andy Farag [percussion], Kris Myers [drums, vocals], and Ryan Stasik [bass]know just how to communicate with each other on stage and in the studio. A call of progressive guitar wizardry might elicit a response of soft acoustic balladry, or a funk groove could be answered by explosive percussion. At any moment, heavy guitars can give way to heavier blues as the boys uncover the elusive nexus between jaw-dropping instrumental virtuosity and airtight song craft.The conversation continues on their eleventh full-length album, its not us [Nothing Too Fancy Music]which was released January 12, 2018.It represents the band, because it basically runs the gamut from prog rock to dance, says Brendan. Weve mastered our ADD here. The record really shows that.No matter what youre into, theres something on its not us that should speak to you, agrees Joel. This is a statement album for Umphreys McGee. The sound is as fresh as ever. The songs are strong as theyve ever been. Were always pushing forward.Its also how the band is celebrating its 20-year anniversary. Instead of retreading the catalog, they turn up with a pile of new tunes.Itd be easy to play the hits from our first five or ten years, continues Joel. Weve never been a band to rest on our laurels though. New music is key to our continued development. Were known as a strong live band, but we take so much pride in our writing. This album distinguishes us because the focus is on that writing.Appropriately, this idea gestated on a sunny May afternoon at Wrigley Field. Six months before The Cubs won their first World Series since 1908, Brendan took in a game on a rare day off.I can pinpoint the actual a-ha moment, Brendan goes on. My wife was out. My kids were at daycare. I walked to Wrigley, bought a standing room ticket, and enjoyed the game. Halfway through it, I thought to myself, If we can get into the studio by the end of the year, we can have a brand new record. Thats where it all started.Bringing things full circle, Umphreys McGee entered I.V. Labs Studio in Chicago ready (and maybe a little hungover) a week after that historic game seven. For the first time since recording Local Band Does O.K. in 2002, five of the six members roomed together in a rental condo with Brendan staying a stones throw away at home.We would wake up, bounce ideas off each other, and go to the studio together, recalls Joel. We did all of this as a unit. There was something really special about our group ethos coming together for this project. We decided to go in for a week, live, eat, and breathe Umphreys McGee. Its the most fun weve had in the studio. It really was a blast. Having that camaraderie was really cool.That camaraderie shines through in their inimitable interplay, which finds them at the pinnacle of their craft and groove as a band. That chemistry defines the approachwhich sees Umphreys McGee hone their songwriting to its sharpest point to date.I feel like were getting better and better at writing succinct, concise musical pieces, Brendan elaborates. When we started out, we were trying to figure out how to fill time. We didnt have much of a catalog, so we had to extend things and repeat parts in order to make up space. Since our catalog is so big now, we dont feel the need to make everything ten minutes long. Weve really trimmed the fat. Everything seems to be the right length.

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