Exposé Online banner

Umphrey's McGee — Wrapped around Chicago
(Sci Fidelity SCIFI 1028, 2005, 2DVD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2006-05-01

Wrapped around Chicago Cover artUmphrey’s McGee occupies one of those favorable music niches somewhere between late era Phish and the Dave Mathews Band. The jam band moniker has been a complete benefit for the six-piece act as the twin-axe attack of Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinniger shows why their interaction isn’t just a natural extension of the Dead or the Allman Brothers. Maybe it’s because the band has the chops to mix it up and gives space to drummer Kris Myer’s adeptly played percussion solos. At times the group recalls Bruce Hornsby’s classy jazz excursions as on “Great American” or the funky “Sociable Jimmy.” Bayliss is a great soloist, using economies of style across the disc and giving room to Cinniger’s flights of fancy. Like Phish’s Halloween shows, Umphrey’s adds a few twists of their own at this extended New Year’s evening gig complete with parading midgets on “The Crooked One” that sounds more like Gwar with less obnoxious visuals. Disc two shows the group with an expanded brass section on “Ophelia” catering to a Dr. John New Orleans style groove. “Nopener” even takes the band into lounge format with Bayliss switching off to drums and the players showing scope to their skills with a spoof on the Brat Pack ala the Tubes. “Miss Twinkle’s Overture” shines as the best performance on disc as the band interplay is tight and inspired. The only popular cover is a slippery take on Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer,” which comes off solidly with a pumping low end that is nearly as infectious as the original. Overall I’d say the band it one hot ticket not to be missed for a year’s end bash.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Umphrey's McGee

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
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

2019-08-20
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

2019-06-05
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


Previously in Exposé...

Rick Wakeman & The English Rock Ensemble - Live in Buenos Aires – One of Rick Wakeman’s several visits to South America gets the DVD treatment with this unique packaging of DVD and separate CD. Damian Wilson is Rick’s newest singer and his lead vocal captures...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues