Umphrey's McGee — Safety in Numbers
(Sci Fidelity SCIFI 1032, 2006, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01
Umphrey’s McGee is still an anomaly in the jam band void left open by the disbanding of Phish. Umphrey’s fills that gap for fans largely due to their prominent self-deprecating humor and also by the sextet’s high quality musicianship and arrangements. From the first few strains of the lead cut, “Believe the Lie,” it’s clear that the band is heavily leveraging easier-to-assimilate works (set in place by their last CD Anchor Drop). Guitarist Brendan Bayliss’s songcraft works in tandem with Jake Cinniger’s songs across the disc. Bayliss’s songwriting is perhaps best represented on the country-fried acoustic ballad “Rocker,” which is adequately accompanied by a lightly mixed string section. His best songwriting effort culminates with “Ocean Billy,” that is lead by a radio mix that pans into a full band riffing melee. In contrast, Cinniger’s most notable contributions include the folksy “Liquid,” which captures the essence of the Dead circa Working Man’s Dead. The band’s high profile new friends include Huey Lewis (mouth harp) and Joshua Redman (alto sax), who lend a creditable hand on three separate cuts, with “Intentions Clear” being the best jazz inflected collaboration. Overall the disc shows songwriting maturity as the band has refined their skills (much in the same mode as moe. rather than Dave Mathews band).
Related artist(s): Umphrey's McGee
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more