mcgee

Umphrey's McGee & Galactic Present: Red Rocks & Blue July 4th Weekend

Celebrate Independence Day Weekend with Umphrey's McGee and Galactic’s Red Rocks & Blue extravaganza on Saturday, July 3rd in Colorado. We'll join forces atRed Rocks Amphitheatre for a long night of music with a heavy dose of reggae classics from the The Wailers. Galactic will be joined special guest Cyril Neville (of the Neville Brothers Band). Look for more exciting info in the coming weeks in addition to the many surprises planned for the show. In addition to the Red Rocks & Blue main course, both bands will perform intimate shows at theGothic Theatre, with Galactic on Friday, July 2nd and Umphrey’s McGee on Sunday, July 4th.

Umphrey's McGee & Galactic want you to celebrate your freedom of choice. Here's your chance to vote for a song that BOTH bands will play together at their July 3rd Red Rocks show. That's right, both Umphrey's McGee and Galactic will collaborate to play the winning song from the choices below. So exercise your rights, vote today, and join us in Colorado July 2-4 for Red Rocks & Blue! Forward this on to anyone you know who loves freedom and live music.

This will be a 4th of July weekend that is really a reason to celebrate your freedom. This is the first time that Umphrey's McGee will close the show under the stars at Red Rocks. We have a chance to be a part of history, so let's sell out Red Rocks! Pre-sale packages for the Red Rocks/Gothic Theatre shows will begin this Saturday, March 20th at NOON MT via UM TIcketing. Pre-sale includes discounted 2 and 3 day packages, and VIP tickets. Public on-sale begins Saturday, March 27th at 10 AM MT. Stay tuned for more exciting additions and announcements surrounding Red Rocks & Blue. We hope to see you in Colorado.Go here for more info!

UMBowl: Another Innovative Music Experience by Umphrey's McGee

The forward-thinking band Umphrey’s McGee will carve out new terrain in musical interactivity with their fans at the first “UMBowl,” an unprecedented 4-quarter evening-long concert on Saturday, April 24th, at Lincoln Hall in the group’s hometown of Chicago.

Umphrey’s, which has long forged a close bond with its national fan base through technological innovation, will explore fresh frontiers in the five-hour event, styled to emulate a football game with four “quarters” of unique musical performances that will actually be generated by audience input. Half the night’s music will be determined by text messaging on “gameday” itself.

The first quarter (Q1) will be an acoustic set entirely chosen by attendees; ticket holders will receive ballots and cast votes on the songs to be performed. Q2 will be a wholly improvised performance driven by bi-directional texting, sifted and delivered by “offensive coordinator” (and longtime Umphrey’s sound caresser) Kevin Browning to the band, which will then use the audience input to construct their jams. Q3 will be an all-request segment, with songs again determined by pre-balloting from the audience members. Fans will be able to vote not just on song selection but actually how those songs are arranged and varied from their original form. In Q4, the live audience will actually act as the group’s quarterback, “calling audibles” to direct the course of a free-flowing set via text messages sent to Browning in response to choices projected on an in-house screen.

The text-messaging element of UMBowl, powered by Mozes, was first employed by Umphrey’s McGee at their Stew Art (or “S2”) series, launched in fall 2009. Hosted as freestanding events before Umphrey’s shows in select tour markets, the series is a crowd-sourced improvisation experiment, in which all the music performed by the group on stage is entirely directed by S2 audience members. Sold-out crowds of 50 fans submit their ideas by texting descriptive words, phrases, and pop culture references to the Umphrey's mobile interface, which are then interpreted by the band.


Umphrey’s McGee had previously taken new approaches to delivering their music to the fans. Before their most recent studio recording, Mantis, was released in January 2009, the collection was made available for pre-order in an interesting way. The more Mantis pre-orders were received, the more free bonus content was received. Fans “unlocked” levels of content by getting more of their friends to pre-order the album.

The band was also among the first group of performers to offer songs at Rock Band Network. The much buzzed-about video game platform works with Xbox video game systems, and allows bands to offer fans a way to dig into their favorite group’s music in ways they have never been able to before.

UMBowl tickets went on sale last Friday and sold out in just minutes.

For the many out-of-town fans attending UMBowl, the band, together with long-standing travel partners CID Entertainment, offered travel packages for the event. Included in each package are tickets to UMBowl, luxury accommodations at the new Hotel Palomar in downtown Chicago, a drink package for the pre-party at the Umphrey’s hometown hang The Store, a personalized UMBowl jersey, gameday transportation, and more. For further information, go here.

Umphrey's McGee on Rock Band Network

Umphrey's McGee will be among the first group of bands to offer songs at the just-launched (beta testing period) Rock Band Network.

The much buzzed-about video game platform works with Xbox video game systems to allow bands to Xbox users, and to offer fans a way dig into their favorite band’s music in ways they have never been able to before.


Umphrey’s McGee has been working with former Harmonix Music Systems employee – and now “Rock Band” freelancer - Andrew Buch. An alumn of Berklee College of Music, Buch has author several Umphrey’s McGee songs for the new program, including “1348” and “Miss Tinkles Overture." These songs and others will be made available within the next few months - when the first wave of the Rock Band Network releases are scheduled to hit upon the release of the new Xbox 360 system.

Buch, whose video/music “claims-to-fame” include the underground release of his mind-numbingly difficult "Trippolette" in the original Guitar Hero, has worked on several games in the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises, making him a likely choice to prepare the music of Umphrey's McGee for the game. Additional work by Buch can be found at http://www.andrewbuch.com, including video footage of both Umphrey's McGee's music and the Rock Band network re-release of "Trippolette."

Umphrey’s McGee’s participation in the Rock Band network is one of many ways this band continues to prove themselves truly a band of the 21st century. The band’s innovative, interactive Stew Art Series (S2) has been hailed as a ground-breaking fan experience. Hosted as individual events before that evening’s already scheduled show, Umphrey’s Stew Art Series is a crowd-sourced improvisation experiment, in which all the music performed by the group on stage are entirely directed by S2 audience members. Check out this S2 video from the inaugural S2 event in Milwaukee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYJn64XRGXU.

Look for Umphrey’s McGee on tour now.

Umphrey's McGee Announces Winter Tour

Umphrey's McGee has never played by the rules. Now, with the unveiling of their all- new Stew Art Series (aka, "S2") - an interactive fan experience where audience members "conduct" the band's live improvisations  - Umphrey's McGee continue to offer their fiercely loyal fanbase the most innovative musical experiences available.

Look for the band to announce S2 events at various stops along their recently announced 2010 winter tour dates. 

Confirmed tour dates are as follows:

December 10-13 Caribbean Holidaze Runaway Bay December 29 Vic Theatre Chicago IL
December 30-31 Aragon Ballroom Chicago IL
January 14 Orpheum Theatre Flagstaff AZ
January 15 House of Blues Las Vegas FL
January 16 Warfield Theatre San Francisco CA
January 17 Knitting Factory Reno NV
January 19 Knitting Factory Boise ID
January 20 The Depot Salt Lake City UT
January 22 Belly Up Aspen Aspen CO
January 23 Fillmore Auditorium Denver CO
February 2 Slowdown Omaha NE
February 3 Liberty Hall Lawrence KS
February 4 The Pageant St. Louis MO
February 5 War Memorial Auditorium Nashville TN
February 6 The Tabernacle Atlanta GA
February 9 WorkPlay Soundstage Birmingham AL
February 11 The Orange Peel Asheville NC
February 12 The Music Farm Charleston SC
February 13 Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte NC
February 14 Rams Head Live Baltimore MD
March 21-23 Jam in the 'Dam The Melkweg Amsterdam May 28-30 Summercamp Chillicothe IL

Hosted as individual events before that evening's already schedule show, Umphrey's Stew Art Series is a crowd-sourced improvisation experiment, in which all the music performed by the group on stage will be entirely directed by S2 audience members. Check out this S2 video from the inaugural S2 event in Milwaukee.

The first few S2 events have been received with overwhelming enthusiasm and to rave reviews, including recent coverage in Billboard Magazine. For S2, sold-out crowds of 50 fans submit their ideas by texting descriptive words, phrases, and pop culture references (pretty much whatever came to mind), to the Umphrey's Mozes mobile interface.  The suggestions are then filtered by the band's long time Sound Caresser Kevin Browning and projected on a screen for the band to digest and turn into the next phase of the jam.  The band's music varies stylistically with suggestions ranging from "an afternoon bus ride in Jamaica" to "drinking pina coladas...in a hurricane". As one elated fan commented after a show, "S2 was the coolest thing I have ever been a part of. It's always been a dream of mine to meet the band, and the opportunity to participate in leading the Jam for the band was a dream come true as well."

As highly skilled improvisational musicians known for using a complex set of signals on stage to prompt spontaneous musical changes, S2 is proving to keep the band on their toes as they navigate through the audience's prompts. S22 event), every attendee receives an autographed CD of the Stew Art Series they attend - minutes after the event has concluded. To be clear, each S2 show is a TOTALLY separate event than the scheduled concert date and will be sold as a separate ticket - getting a ticket to S2 does not get you into the show later that night (and vice versa). The S2 experiment is just that, an experiment. Keyboardist Joel Cummins explains, "The improvisational elements of our show have always been one of our favorite parts about playing together - and we think the audience feels that way, too. That's our inspiration for the S2 series. It's also a great way to stay on top of our chops." S2 events take place in the early evening before the respective show start times. Prices and ages vary from show to show - which should last one hour (with Q&A).

This is not the first time that Umphrey's McGee has taken new approaches to delivering their music to the fans. Before their latest studio recording, Mantis, was released in January of this year, the group made the album available for pre-order in an interesting way. Fans were offered more free bonus content the more Mantis pre-orders were received; as the fans "unlocked" levels of content by getting more of their friends to pre-order the album. The idea was to give the fans incentive to help spread the word about the album, and to offer a totally unique music experience.

Umphrey's McGee's Interactive S2 Series Announces Another Event

Umphrey's McGee has never played by the rules. Now, with the unveiling of their all- new Stew Art Series (aka, "S2") - an interactive fan experience where audience members "conduct" the band's live improvisations  - Umphrey's McGee continue to offer their fiercely loyal fanbase the most innovative musical experiences available. With recent S2 events in Milwaukee and Portland (Oregon), next on the itinerary is November 21 at Washington D.C.'s 9:30 Club, before their evening performance.

Hosted as individual events before that evening's already schedule show, Umphrey's Stew Art Series is a crowd-sourced improvisation experiment, in which all the music performed by the group on stage will be entirely directed by S2 audience members. Check out this S2 video from the inaugural S2 event in Milwaukee.

The first few S2 events have been received with overwhelming enthusiasm and to rave reviews, including recent coverage in Billboard Magazine. Look for S2 events to be announced in select markets throughout 2010.

Umphrey's offers their next S2 event in D.C. - during a two night run at the 9:30 Club.  Details are as follows:

Umphrey's McGee S2
Saturday, November 21 @ 4:00 PM (doors at 3:30 PM)
9:30 Club
815 V Street, Washington D.C.
Tickets:  $99.00
ON SALE WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4 AT 12 NOON EASTERN TIME AT WWW.UMPHREYS.COM

S2 tickets are extremely limited and will sell out!

Umphrey's McGee Shows
Friday, November 20 and Saturday, November 21 @ 8:00 PM (Doors @ 7:00 PM)
9:30 Club
815 V Street, Washington D.C.
Tickets: $25.00 single day, $40.00 2-night pass / All Ages Welcome
Show tickets available now at www.umphreys.com


Umphrey's McGee's DC visit is one stop along a massive fall tour.  The remaining list of this season's confirmed appearances is as follows:

November 11 The Opera House Toronto, Canada
November 12-14 Higher Ground Ballroom Burlington VT
November 15 Port City Music Hall Portland ME
November 17 Northern Lights Clifton Park NY
November 18 Water Street Music Hall Rochester NY
November 19 Mr. Small's Theatre Millvale PA
November 20-21 9:30 Club Washington D.C. featuring S2 Event
December 10-14 Caribbean Holidaze Runaway Bay
December 29 Vic Theatre Chicago IL
December 30-31 Aragon Ballroom Chicago IL
March 21-23 Jam in the 'Dam, The Melkweg Amsterdam

For S2, sold-out crowds of 50 fans submit their ideas by texting descriptive words, phrases, and pop culture references (pretty much whatever came to mind), to the Umphrey's Mozes mobile interface.  The suggestions are then filtered by the band's long time Sound Caresser Kevin Browning and projected on a screen for the band to digest and turn into the next phase of the jam.  The band's music varies stylistically with suggestions ranging from "an afternoon bus ride in Jamaica" to "drinking pina coladas...in a hurricane". As one elated fan commented after a show, "S2 was the coolest thing I have ever been a part of. It's always been a dream of mine to meet the band, and the opportunity to participate in leading the Jam for the band was a dream come true as well."

As highly skilled improvisational musicians known for using a complex set of signals on stage to prompt spontaneous musical changes, S2 is proving to keep the band on their toes as they navigate through the audience’s prompts. S2 events also include a Q&A session providing an opportunity for fans to ask about what they’re witnessing (or ask anything else for that matter). As part of the ticket (which is actually be a custom laminate that is different for each S2 event), every attendee receives an autographed CD of the Stew Art Series they attend - minutes after the event has concluded. To be clear, each S2 show is a TOTALLY separate event than the scheduled concert date and will be sold as a separate ticket - getting a ticket to S2 does not get you into the show later that night (and vice versa). The S2 experiment is just that, an experiment. Keyboardist Joel Cummins explains, “The improvisational elements of our show have always been one of our favorite parts about playing together - and we think the audience feels that way, too. That’s our inspiration for the S2 series. It’s also a great way to stay on top of our chops.” S2 events take place in the early evening before the respective show start times. Prices and ages vary from show to show - which should last one hour (with Q&A).

This is not the first time that Umphrey's McGee has taken new approaches to delivering their music to the fans. Before their latest studio recording, Mantis, was released in January of this year, the group made the album available for pre-order in an interesting way. Fans were offered more free bonus content the more Mantis pre-orders were received; as the fans "unlocked" levels of content by getting more of their friends to pre-order the album. The idea was to give the fans incentive to help spread the word about the album, and to offer a totally unique music experience.

But it's always been about experiencing Umphrey's McGee on the concert stage, and the group recently announced a string of fall dates, including some final festival stops of 2009 - Jazz Aspen Snowmass Festival, moe.Down, and Telluride Blues and Brews, plus a special Halloween performance in Yosemite, California. And to get yourself in the right frame of mind for the upcoming tour, you can check out the recently-released live DVD, Umphrey's McGee - Live. Recorded during their 2007 performance for PBS's Soundstage, Umphrey's McGee - Live is offers an incredible 13-song set on DVD, including six favorites not shown during the PBS broadcast, which premiered last February.

Umphrey's McGee Unveils Interactive S2 Events

Umphrey's McGee has never played by the rules. Now, with the unvieling of their all-new Stew Art Series (aka, "S2") - an interactive fan experience where audience members "conduct" the band's live improvisations  - Umphrey's McGee continue to offer their fiercely loyal fanbase the most innovative musical experiences available.

Umphrey’s McGee’s S2 debuted on October 3rd in Milwaukee – with another S2 event recently announced for October 24th in Portland and additional date(s) this fall and beyond still to be determined.  Hosted as individual events before that evening’s already schedule show, Umphrey’s Stew Art Series is a crowd-sourced improvisation experiment, in which all the music performed by the group on stage will be entirely directed by S2 audience members. Check out this S2 video from the first event.

The inaugural S2 at Milwaukee's Eagles Ballroom was received with overwhelming enthusiasm and to rave reviews. The sold-out crowd of 50 fans submitted their ideas by texting descriptive words, phrases, and pop culture references (pretty much whatever came to mind), to the Umphrey's Mozes mobile interface.  The suggestions were then filtered by the band's long time Sound Caresser Kevin Browning and projected on a screen for the band to digest and turn into the next phase of the jam.  The band's music varied stylistically with suggestions ranging from "an afternoon bus ride in Jamaica" to "drinking pina coladas...in a hurricane". As one elated fan commented after the show, "S2 was the coolest thing I have ever been a part of. It's always been a dream of mine to meet the band, and the opportunity to participate in leading the Jam for the band was a dream come true as well."

As highly skilled improvisational musicians known for using a complex set of signals on stage to prompt spontaneous musical changes, S2 is proving to keep the band on their toes as they navigate through the audience’s prompts. S2 events also include a Q&A session providing an opportunity for fans to ask about what they’re witnessing (or ask anything else for that matter). As part of the ticket (which will actually be a custom laminate that will be different for each S2 event), every attendee will receive an autographed CD of the Stew Art Series they attend - minutes after the event has concluded. To be clear, each S2 show is a TOTALLY separate event than the scheduled concert date and will be sold as a separate ticket - getting a ticket to S2 does not get you into the show later that night (and vice versa). The S2 experiment is just that, an experiment. Keyboardist Joel Cummins explains, “The improvisational elements of our show have always been one of our favorite parts about playing together - and we think the audience feels that way, too. That’s our inspiration for the S2 series. It’s also a great way to stay on top of our chops.” S2 events take place in the early evening before the respective show start times. Prices and ages vary from show to show - which should last one hour (with Q&A).

This is not the first time that Umphrey's McGee has taken new approaches to delivering their music to the fans. Before their latest studio recording, Mantis, was released in January of this year, the group made the album available for pre-order in an interesting way. Fans were offered more free bonus content the more Mantis pre-orders were received; as the fans "unlocked" levels of content by getting more of their friends to pre-order the album. The idea was to give the fans incentive to help spread the word about the album, and to offer a totally unique music experience.

But it's always been about experiencing Umphrey's McGee on the concert stage, and the group recently announced a string of fall dates, including some final festival stops of 2009 - Jazz Aspen Snowmass Festival, moe.Down, and Telluride Blues and Brews, plus a special Halloween performance in Yosemite, California. And to get yourself in the right frame of mind for the upcoming tour, you can check out the recently-released live DVD, Umphrey's McGee - Live. Recorded during their 2007 performance for PBS's Soundstage, Umphrey's McGee - Live is offers an incredible 13-song set on DVD, including six favorites not shown during the PBS broadcast, which premiered last February.

2009 has been one of Umphrey's McGee's busiest years yet, and as evidenced by their upcoming tour and one of a kind S2 shows, they refuse to slow down. The band's complete list of confirmed appearances is as follows:

October 21 Knitting Factory Spokane WA
October 22 Showbox Seattle WA
October 23 McDonald Theatre Eugene OR
October 24 Crystal Ballroom Portland OR*** [S2 show that day]
October 25 Eureka Theatre Eureka CA
October 27 Crystal Bay Club Crystal Bay NV
October 28 McNears Mystic Theatre Petaluma CA
October 29 House of Blues West Hollywood CA
October 30-31 Las Tortugas - Dance of the Dead IV Groveland (Yosemite) CA
November 11 The Opera House Toronto, Canada
November 12-14 Higher Ground Ballroom South Burlington VT
November 15 Port City Music Hall Portland ME
November 17 Northern Lights Clifton Park NY
November 18 Water Street Music Hall Rochester NY
November 19 Mr. Small's Theatre Millvale PA
November 20-21 9:30 Club Washington D.C.
December 10-14 Caribbean Holidaze Runaway Bay
December 29 Vic Theatre Chicago IL
December 30-31 Aragon Ballroom Chicago IL
March 21-23 Jam in the 'Dam, The Melkweg Amsterdam

Umphrey's McGee Announces Release of East Star All-Stars Remix

Available digitally at Itunes and elsewhere beginning October 6th, Umphrey's McGee releases a dub remix of "Turn & Run" - remixed by Michael G. of the famed reggae collective, Easy Star All-Stars (Lonely Hearts World Tour 2009, Dub Side of the Moon, Radiodread). "Turn & Run" originally appeared on Umphrey's McGee's latest studio album, Mantis. Listen to the remix here: http://www.umphreys.com/home/news.php?newsId=571

Look for Umphrey's McGee on tour now.  The band's complete list of confirmed appearances is as follows:

October 7  City Opera House  Traverse City MI
October 8  House of Blues  Cleveland OH
October 9  Orbit Room  Grand Rapids MI
October 21  Knitting Factory Spokane WA
October 22  Showbox Seattle WA
October 23  McDonald Theatre  Eugene OR
October 24  Crystal Ballroom Portland OR
October 25  Eureka Theatre  Eureka CA
October 27  Crystal Bay Club Crystal Bay NV
October 28  McNears Mystic Theatre  Petaluma CA
October 29  House of Blues  West Hollywood CA
October 30-31  Las Tortugas - Dance of the Dead IV Groveland (Yosemite) CA
November 11 The Opera House Toronto, Canada
November 12-14 Higher Ground Ballroom South Burlington VT
November 15 Port City Music Hall Portland ME
November 17 Northern Lights Clifton Park NY
November 18 Water Street Music Hall Rochester NY
November 19 Mr. Small's Theatre Millvale PA
November 20-21 9:30 Club Washington D.C.
December 10-14 Caribbean Holidaze  Runaway Bay
December 29 Vic Theatre Chicago IL
December 30-31 Aragon Ballroom Chicago IL
March 21-23 Jam in the 'Dam, The Melkweg Amsterdam

Legendary on the live music circuit, Chicago-based Umphrey's McGee has perfected the art of progressive improvisation.  With swirling guitar textures, multi-faceted arrangements and their signature blend of power and finesse, the sextet brings jamming to a new level.  During the summer of 2007, Umphrey's McGee came home to Chicago to record a special live performance for the award-winning PBS music series Soundstage at WTTW's Grainger Studio. UMPHREY'S McGEE - LIVE features over two hours of dazzling music presented in High-Definition and mixed in 5.1 Surround Sound, plus two bonus tracks (including "Made to Measure" off their most recent studio album Mantis).  A visual showcase of the band's spontaneity and innovative prowess, UMPHREY'S McGEE - LIVE, is a must-own for all music enthusiasts and progressive rock fans, and is available now in stores and online.

Umphrey's McGee Announce Fall Tour, Halloween, and NYE Dates

Umphrey's McGee is gearing up for a busy fall season that will take them to all parts of the U.S, including some final festival stops of 2009 - Jazz Aspen Snowmass Festival, moe.Down, and Telluride Blues and Brews - and a special Halloween play in Yosemite, California.

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In June, the band released their new DVD, Umphrey's McGee - Live.  Recorded during their 2007 performance for PBS's Soundstage, Umphrey's McGee - Live is offers an incredible 13-song set on DVD, including six favorites not shown during the PBS broadcast, which premiered last February.

Legendary on the live music circuit, Chicago-based Umphrey's McGee has perfected the art of progressive improvisation.  With swirling guitar textures, multi-faceted arrangements and their signature blend of power and finesse, the sextet brings jamming to a new level.  During the summer of 2007, Umphrey's McGee came home to Chicago to record a special live performance for the award-winning PBS music series Soundstage at WTTW's Grainger Studio. UMPHREY'S McGEE - LIVE features over two hours of dazzling music presented in High-Definition and mixed in 5.1 Surround Sound, plus two bonus tracks (including "Made to Measure" off their most recent studio album Mantis).  A visual showcase of the band's spontaneity and innovative prowess, UMPHREY'S McGEE - LIVE, is a must-own for all music enthusiasts and progressive rock fans, and is available now in stores and online.

The band's complete list of confirmed appearances is as follows:

August 27-28  Canopy Club  Urbana IL
September 2  Whiskey Roadhouse  Council Bluffs IA
September 4  Mishawaka Amphitheatre  Bellevue CO
September 5  Jazz Aspen Snowmass Festival  Aspen CO
September 6  moe. Down  Turin NY
September 9  Varsity Theatre  Baton Rouge LA
September 10  House of Blues  Houston TX
September 11  La Zona Rosa  Austin TX
September 12  House of Blues  Dallas TX
September 15  Rialto Theatre  Tucson AZ
September 16  House of Blues  Las Vegas NV
September 17  The Depot  Salt Lake City UT with Keller Williams
September 18  Mesa Theatre & Club  Grand Junction CO
September 19 Telluride Blues and Brews Festival Telluride CO
October 1  IU Auditorium  Bloomington IN
October 2  Michigan Theatre  Ann Arbor MI
October 3  Eagles Ballroom  Milwaukee WI
October 7  City Opera House  Traverse City MI
October 8  House of Blues  Cleveland OH
October 9  Orbit Room  Grand Rapids MI
October 21  Knitting Factory Spokane WA
October 22  Showbox Seattle WA
October 23  McDonald Theatre  Eugene OR
October 24  Crystal Ballroom Portland OR
October 25  Eureka Theatre  Eureka CA
October 27  Crystal Bay Club Crystal Bay NV
October 28  McNears Mystic Theatre  Petaluma CA
October 29  House of Blues  West Hollywood CA
October 30-31  Las Tortugas - Dance of the Dead IV Groveland (Yosemite) CA
December 10-14  Carribean Holidaze  Runaway Bay JA
December 29-31  TBA Chicago IL

Umphreys McGee Embrace Change

Change.  It has been the ringing theme across America throughout the last six months, not only politically but socially.  Our country has finally come to the conclusion that "business as usual" can no longer work, seen most prominently by the economic turmoil facing the nation today.

 

umOne area reeling from its own such financial crisis is the music recording industry.  Sales from physical albums have massively plunged over the last decade, due mostly in part to the rise of the digital age.  There are too many options via the internet for people to get their music for free or cheap, making the purchase of CDs virtually too expensive or unnecessary.

 

Record company executives have been scrambling to figure out ways to make money off of their artists, and some are beginning to try new revenue streams in hopes of making their products profitable again.  Yet many still seem to be relying on tired methods of heavy marketing, and fighting digital retailers such as iTunes.

 

Artists have taken note, with some prominent names deciding that they no longer necessarily need distribution labels to sell their music.  There is a fundamental shift taking place in the music industry, one that now seems long overdue.  A change in approach has become evident, and no group this year has embraced such change more than the progressive rock outfit Umphreys McGee.

 

The popular touring band from Chicago started off 2009 fresh with a brand new studio release called Mantis.  Musically it was their most bold, complex, and well-produced album to date.  But what really made this project so special was the means by which they chose to market it.  The campaign consisted of a grassroots-type effort of giving fans more music through their pre-ordering system.  What it came down to was the more orders that got placed then the more fans would get out of it.  Levels of digital bonus content would be "unlocked" if more folks purchased orders for the new album.

 

In addition to the ordering campaign, the group incorporated a new technology into the disc itself that worked like a "key" to getting even more bonus material from the internet.  Using this PUSH product, users only needed to insert the disc into their home computers, which would then direct them to a website where they could download more content such as photos, liner notes, and live songs.

 

And the strategy worked.  Fans old and new excitedly purchased the new album, landing the release on the coveted Billboard Top 200 for that week.  This is from a band that went from modest CD sales to #62 on that chart.

 

umUmphreys McGee did not stop there when reworking their image.  Shortly after the release of Mantis, the band hit the road in support of the album.  They are no strangers to large tours, but decided to also alter the way they approach touring.  First they brought along famed lighting engineer Jeff Waful to set up a new light rig and wow fans with a more visual experience.

 

Second, they are considering changing the two-set format that most jam bands use in performances to one longer set with an extended encore.  This will give fans the same amount music, but will inevitably cut production costs with shorter overall venue use.

 

As if the experience of the show is not enough, fans can also purchase downloadable copies of each performance through their partnership with Live Downloads at UMLive.net.  The concerts can be purchased as MP3s or the higher quality FLAC files.  The band will also soon be delivering shows in a new HDMP3 format, which will give listeners lossless audio files that are compatible with standard MP3 players, thus providing much better quality overall sound.

 

The band has those who want the whole live music experience, but cannot be there in person, covered too.  On a recent string of shows the band partnered with iClips to allow fans the opportunity to stream live shows as they happen.  For a modest fee of $5 anyone could get a virtual experience of a live Umphreys McGee concert.

 

umThese revolutionary methods are working off the mantra, the more you give the more you get.  And because of this thinking, the band is experiencing their most successful year of their career.  By embracing change the group is laying the groundwork not only for their future, but the future of those who follow.

 

As artists and recording companies look for ways to survive in a suffering industry, Umphreys McGee may be the ones to lead the charge of new methods of not only sustainable, but profitable growth.

Umphrey’s McGee Among First to Embrace New HDMP3 Format

ryanUmphrey's McGee are among the first bands to make their content available in the new HDMP3 format.  The new format allows for the creation and playback of a new type of audio file using lossless compression. MP3HD files are approximately four times the size of corresponding MP3 files, but remain compatible with existing MP3 players.  Umphrey's McGee will make a sizable portion of their recent two-night run at the historic Murat Egyptian Room on March 13, 2009 available in the new format beginning April 1st at http://all4mp3.com/Listen_mp3HD.aspx.  Additional recordings will be made available in the coming weeks.

"As one of the few artists who record and make available every show that is played, sound quality is paramount to the entire band.  The HDMP3 format is a welcome addition to our existing arsenal of lossless and lossy formats we make available for fans, explains Umphrey's McGee's audio engineer & producer Kevin Browning." Offering a much richer sound spectrum combined with the convenience and familiarity of the MP3 format, we expect HDMP3 to be a hit with the band and fans alike."

Umphrey's McGee has recently made headlines with a groundbreaking digital campaign surrounding their latest studio album, Mantis.  Mantis debuted at #62 on the Billboard 200 Chart, and #6 on the Indie Chart, with more than twice the sales the band's previous effort achieved week of release.  In a declining record industry, the band's ingenious and innovative digital strategy has bucked the downward trend.  Prior to this initiative, the standard approach towards offering bonus content was limited to delivery of exclusive materials as a one-shot incentive to the buyer.  Umphrey's McGee, in super-serving their fan base, have built a modern nine-tier solution supported by grassroots and viral word-of-mouth, that marketing executives across the planet will envy.

This innovative initiative relies on fan support to see its goals realized.  A variety of content is made available to those who pre-ordered the album in stages, based on purchased units unlocking the vault at varying thresholds.   With each tier reach, more content goes out to the core crusaders.  Guitarist and vocalist Brendan Bayliss explains, "Our fans have always been there for us, and with each year that has passed, the legion has exponentially grown.  Collectively, we knew that this is a program that they'd love.  Without a community, as we enjoy, this would probably never be executed as a realized vision.  In our case, it worked."  Band manager Vincent Iwinski adds, "That we were able to super-serve our fanbase with content they want, while making them part of the process, resulted in crowd-sourcing a passionate sales team like no other.  With sales more than doubling our previous album in such a tough recorded music market is a testament to the creativity of the band, the support of the fans and the power of the new medium that enables artists like Umphrey's McGee to push the envelope from both music and marketing perspectives."  During the release week, Mantis reached #25 on the iTunes Album chart.

In addition to a one-of-a kind pre-order campaign where fans can participate in "unlocking" exclusive bonus material, Mantis incorporates PUSH(TM) technology by Digital Insert to deliver new content throughout 2009.  PUSH requires no software installation or serial number; by simply putting the Mantis CD in your CD-ROM drive, the disc acts as a "key" to an Umphreys.com micro-site where fans get access to exclusive 2009 content as it becomes available.

Umphrey's McGee has also broken new ground by being among the first bands to offer their fans a video subscription service.  Available exclusively at iClips.com, Umphrey's has made an entire week's worth of concerts available in realtime video streaming to their fans for the low cost of only $5 per show, or the total package for only $20.  Fans have the option of streaming the shows live as they happen, as well as further streaming on demand for two weeks following the concerts.

The Mantis campaign, the band's video subscription, and their use of the HDMP3 format are all innovative music experiences offered by Umphrey's McGee, who have proven adaptive and inventive both in music and business over the last 10 years. Through online community building, creative web-based promotions, and open taping policies allowing live music sharing among fans, Umphrey's McGee has harnessed the internet's momentum to spread their music far and wide. The band's download store UMLive.net is an archive of their ever-diverse live performances, hosting downloads of over 300 shows with 750,000 tracks sold since 2004. Umphreys.com hosts the iTunes friendly UM Podcast which releases two 75-minute episodes of live material each month to its 20,000 subscribers. Since 2001, Umphrey's has released soundboard recordings of each night's concert immediately after the show in both physical and digital formats - and each show typically sells upwards of 300 copies per night. The band's unique approach to online and digital distribution, paired with word of mouth buzz, has helped Umphrey's McGee sell out shows nationwide while keeping their fans a top priority.

jakeThe band has returned to the road for a run through the northeast, midwest and several forthcoming summer festivals.  Confirmed dates are as follows:   

April 02 The Grand Opera House Wilmington, DE
April 03 Penn's Peak Jim Thorpe, PA
April 04 Ram's Head Live! Baltimore, MD
April 05 Toad's Place New Haven, CT
April 07 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel Providence, RI
April 08 Calvin Theatre Northampton, MA
April 09 House of Blues Boston, MA
April 10 Nokia Theatre Times Square New York, NY
April 11 Nokia Theatre Times Square New York, NY
April 16 Taft Theatre Cincinnati, OH
April 17 Egyptian Theatre Dekalb, IL
April 18 Morris Performing Arts Center South Bend, IN
April 29 Bama Theatre Tuscaloosa, AL
April 30 House of Blues New Orleans, LA
May 01 House of Blues New Orleans, LA
May 02 The Lyric Oxford MS
May 22 Summer Camp Chillicothe, IL
May 29 Mountain Jam Festival ~ Hunter Mountain Hunter, NY
May 30 Newport Music Hall Columbus, OH
June 05 Wanee Festival Live Oak, FL
July 02 High Sierra Music Festival Quincy, CA
July 11 All Good Music Festival ~ Marvin's Mountaintop Masontown, WV
July 18-19 Alpine Valley East Troy, WI supporting The Dave Matthews Band
July 25 10,000 Lakes Festival Detroit Lakes, MN