umphrey

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

Umphrey's Releases Live DVD & Announces Summer Dates

Umphrey's McGee is gearing up for a busy summer. On June 2nd the band releases 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 this past February.   Also this summer, Umphrey's McGee celebrates the European release of their highly acclaimed new studio album, Mantis. Look for the band on tour this summer, including a just-announced ROTHBURY appearance, a run of co-bill dates with Matisyahu, two nights with Dave Matthews Band, and even some stops at Chicago's baseball fields (it wouldn't be summer for Umphrey's McGee without baseball!).

 

umLegendary 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 in stores and online for $19.99 SRP.

 

Also this summer, Umphrey's McGee's skips across the pond with the European release of their new studio album, Mantis. The special 2-disc European edition of Mantis, released by Floating World Records/Evangeline, is now available in Holland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Scandanavia, and the UK. Mantis is Umphrey's fifth studio release, and their most successful to date.  Here's what U.S. critics had to say:

 

"...the sleekly constructed tunes...sparkle with a sweetness and soul that's more than the sum of their influences."- Entertainment Weekly

"...meticulous... If complexity is the standard by which it should be judged, Mantis warranted the buildup [of its release]." - New York Times

"A beautiful music gumbo... The band pulls off the trans-genre trick without a hitch." 
- Associated Press

"...their slickest and most ambitious tunes yet." - Rolling Stone

 

Look for Umphrey's McGee on tour this summer, including an unlikely pairing - Notre Dame alums Umphrey's McGee with Hasidic reggae-man Matisyahu, two nights with Dave Matthews Band, plus festival stops including ROTHBURY, All Good, High Sierra and others.

 

Of personal note for the Chicago natives are their confirmed appearances at Chicago's baseball fields. The band will sing the National Anthem and "God Bless America" at Wrigley Field on Sunday, May 31st, when the Cubs host playoff rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers. Then, on June 8th, the band heads to the South Side for their fifth performance at US Cellular Field for the Chicago White Sox versus the Detroit Tigers. On this official "Umphrey's McGee Fan Appreciation Night," the band will deliver a three-song acoustic set from home plate, followed by the singing of the National Anthem. Need more baseball? Catch Umphrey's McGee's music in a new movie about the Chicago Cubs. Titled "We Believe," the movie will be out in late spring and will premiere at the Chicago Theater on June 12th.

 

The complete list of confirmed summer appearances is as follows:


umMay 29 Mountain Jam Festival ~ Hunter Mountain Hunter NY
May 30 Newport Music Hall Columbus OH
May 31 Wrigley Field Chicago IL
June 5 Wanee Festival Live Oak FL
June 6 Bama Jam Enterprise AL
June 8 US Cellular Field Chicago IL
June 25 Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Richmond VA
June 26 Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor Buffalo NY
June 27 Papermill Island Amphitheatre Baldwinsville NY
July 2 High Sierra Music Festival Quincy CA
July 3-5 ROTHBURY Rothbury MI
July 7 Bank of America Pavilion Boston MA w/ Matisyahu
July 8 Electric Factory Philadelphia PA w/ Matisyahu
July 9 Central Park Summerstage New York NY w/ Matisyahu
July 10 NorVa Norfolk VA
July 11 All Good Music Festival ~ Marvin's Mountaintop Masontown WV
July 12 Forecastle Festival Louisville KY 
July 15 Simon Estes Amphitheatre Des Moines IA
July 16 Capitol Theatre Davenport IA 
July 17 Crossroads Kansas City MO
July 18-19 Alpine Valley East Troy WI supporting Dave Matthews Band
July 25 10,000 Lakes Festival Detroit Lakes, MN

August 15 Mulberry Mountain Harvest Music Festival Ozark AR
September 4 Mishawaka Bellevue CO
September 5 Jazz Aspen Aspen CO

Umphrey's McGee's Mantis Debuts on the Billboard 200 Chart

photos by Sam Holloway- for the Grateful Web

Umphrey's McGee's new album, Mantis, debuts at #62 on the Billboard 200 Chart, and #6 on the Indie Chart.  Mantis also reached #25 on the Itunes Album Chart and #9 on the Itunes Rock Chart.

With Mantis' week-of-release sales numbers at more than double that of the band's previous album (The Bottom Half 2005), Umphrey's McGee has defied the record industry's downward trend in sales.  This is due in part to Mantis' innovative digital strategy, where fans who pre-ordered the album gained access to exclusive bonus material, and as more pre-orders were received, fans participated in "unlocking" new levels of content. Billboard Magazine recognized Umphrey's McGee for their creative marketing savvy, calling the Mantis pre-order campaign "...a likely template for emerging and established acts [looking to] kick-start interest in a new release."

 

Indeed, Umphrey's McGee has forged a new path in digital music delivery by building a grassroots and viral grassroots marketing plan that super-serves their fan base.  The strategy relies on fan support, and is a win- win for both the fans and the band. As Umphrey's McGee guitarist Jake Cinninger explains, "Our fans have always been there for us, and we wanted to return the favor and do something for them. We knew that this was a program that they'd love and that's a good thing, because without them, it wouldn't have worked."  Umphrey's McGee manager Vincent Iwinski adds, "This was certainly an experiment in which we didn't know what would happen, but we are pleased that the fans supported the idea, and ran with it." 

 

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 will act as a "key" to an Umphreys.com micro-site where fans get access to exclusive 2009 content as it becomes available.  

 

Mantis is yet another innovative music experience to be 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.

Look for Umphrey's McGee on tour now.

 

January 31      First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
February 01     First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
February 12     Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
February 13     Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
February 14     Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
February 15     Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
February 19     Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
February 20     Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
February 21     The Orange Peel Asheville, NC
February 22     Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte, NC
March 04        Workplay Soundstage Birmingham, AL
March 05        Workplay Soundstage Birmingham, AL
March 07        Langerado Music Festival Miami Beach, FL
March 12        Royal Oak Music Theatre Royal Oak, MI
March 13        Egyptian Room Indianapolis, IN
March 14        Egyptian Room Indianapolis, IN
March 25        Cain's Ballroom Tulsa, OK
March 26        Liberty Hall Lawrence, KS
March 27        The Pageant St. Louis, MO
March 28        Minglewood Hall Memphis, TN
April 01        Town Ballroom Buffalo, NY
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, R
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
July 22         10,000 Lakes Festival Detroit Lakes, MN

Umphrey's McGee Unleash the Fury at the Boulder Theater

An historic transition is underway in the music industry.  The digital age is causing the rapidly occurring obsolescence of solid-state media – records, CDs, and the like – right before our eyes.  It's sink or swim time for the recording industry and artists alike: either get on board and innovate your marketing for the 21st century, or cling to a dying system and go down with the ship.  Fortunately for the music-loving public, intelligent artists are choosing to swim, often leaving their record labels behind in favor of more consumer-driven approaches, despite the fact that

Umphrey's McGee Boulder Theater Photos

photos by Sam Holloway- for the Grateful Web

Grateful Web's Sam Holloway was on-hand at last night's Umphrey's McGee show at the Boulder Theater, in Boulder, Colorado.  Please check back soon for Sam's review of the evening.  In the interim, we invite you to check out some of Sam's great crowd and band photos.  And check out some previous Umphrey's reviews on the Grateful Web as well as our interview with Jake Cinninger from a couple of years ago.

 

Enjoy,

The Grateful Web

Umphrey's Releases New Album Today

photos by Amanda Bell- for the Grateful Web

The first single from Mantis, "Measure to Measure," debuted at #1 on the R&R Indicator Top 30 chart (tied with "Lucky" - Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat duet). Billboard Magazine recently recognized Umphrey's McGee's "digital savvy," hailing Mantis's innovative pre-order campaign, where fans unlock bonus content as the number of Mantis pre-orders increase, as "...a likely template for emerging and established acts [looking to] kick-start interest in a new release."

Umphrey's McGee will appear on PBS's critically acclaimed concert series, Soundstage, on February 5, 2009 - just in time to celebrate the release of Mantis.  Look for the new material on Mantis to get a live workout in 2009, when the band hits the road in support of the new album.  Confirmed tour dates are as follows:

January 22 Aggie Theatre Fort Collins, CO
January 23 Boulder Theater Boulder, CO
January 24 Fillmore Auditorium Denver, CO
January 30 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
January 31 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
February 01 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
February 12 Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
February 13 Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
February 14 Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
February 15 Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
February 19 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
February 20 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
February 21The Orange Peel Asheville, NC
February 22 Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte, NC
March 04 Workplay Soundstage Birmingham, AL
March 05 Workplay Soundstage Birmingham, AL
March 07 Langerado Music Festival Miami Beach, FL
March 12 Royal Oak Music Theatre Royal Oak, MI
March 13 Egyptian Room Indianapolis, IN
March 14 Egyptian Room Indianapolis, IN
March 25 Cain's Ballroom Tulsa, OK
March 26 Liberty Hall Lawrence, KS
March 27 The Pageant St. Louis, MO
March 28 Minglewood Hall Memphis, TN
April 01Town Ballroom Buffalo, NY
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 30 House of Blues New Orleans, LA
May 01 House of Blues New Orleans, LA 

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 will act as a "key" to an Umphreys.com micro-site where fans get access to exclusive 2009 content as it becomes available.  

Mantis is yet another innovative music experience to be 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.

Umphrey's McGee Releases Mantis Tuesday, Jan. 20th

photos by Tim Hurley- for the Grateful Web

Chicago's Umphrey's McGee enters its second decade together with their hardest, darkest, and most artistically cohesive album to date. The new album hits streets on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009, when Mantis casts another Windy City family into the limelight.

The first single from Mantis, "Measure to Measure," has already debuted at #1 on the R&R Indicator Top 30 chart (tied with "Lucky" - Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat duet). Billboard Magazine recently recognized Umphrey's McGee's "digital savvy," hailing Mantis' innovative pre-order campaign, where fans unlock bonus content as the number of Mantis pre-orders increase, as "...a likely template for emerging and established acts [looking to] kick-start interest in a new release."

Over 2 years in the making, Mantis pushes the envelope in composition, arrangement and group interplay.  In an Umphrey's McGee first, the album offers 100% new material - a drastic change of pace for a band whose typical modus operandi is to work out the material live on-stage before recording studio versions.

Umphrey's McGee will appear on PBS's critically acclaimed concert series, Soundstage, on February 5, 2009 - just in time to celebrate the release of Mantis.  Look for the new material on Mantis to get a live workout in 2009, when the band hits the road in support of the new album.  Confirmed tour dates are as follows:

January 22 Aggie Theatre Fort Collins, CO
January 23 Boulder Theater Boulder, CO
January 24 Fillmore Auditorium Denver, CO
January 30 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
January 31 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
February 01 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
February 12 Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
February 13 Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
February 14 Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
February 15 Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
February 19 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
February 20 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
February 21 The Orange Peel Asheville, NC
February 22 Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte, NC
March 04 Workplay Soundstage Birmingham, AL
March 05 Workplay Soundstage Birmingham, AL
March 07 Langerado Music Festival Miami Beach, FL
March 12 Royal Oak Music Theatre Royal Oak, MI
March 13 Egyptian Room Indianapolis, IN
March 14 Egyptian Room Indianapolis, IN
March 25 Cain's Ballroom Tulsa, OK
March 26 Liberty Hall Lawrence, KS
March 27 The Pageant St. Louis, MO
March 28 Minglewood Hall Memphis, TN
April 01 Town Ballroom Buffalo, NY
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 30 House of Blues New Orleans, LA
May 01 House of Blues New Orleans, LA

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 will act as a "key" to an Umphreys.com micro-site where fans get access to exclusive 2009 content as it becomes available.  

Mantis is yet another innovative music experience to be 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.

Attention Colorado: Umphrey's is on the Way!

photos by Sam Holloway- for the Grateful Web

Chicago's favorite export is coming to Colorado, and I'm not talking about either crooked politicians or Da Bears.  I'm talking about Umphrey's McGee, who will be doing a four-night stint along the Front Range later this month, beginning at the Aggie in Fort Collins on the 22nd.  From there, UM will be stopping at the Boulder Theater on the 23rd, with back to back gigs in Denver at the Fillmore and Cervantes on the 24th, and a show in Breckenridge on the 25th

Umphrey's McGee is touring in support of their new album, Mantis, and are sure to draw some huge crowds along the way, so get your tickets now if you don't want to miss out.  For the album, Umphrey's is waging an innovative, and fan-driven pre-order campaign.  The more pre-orders that come in, the more bonus material becomes available.  The idea: fans spread the word so that everybody gets more swag.  Brilliant. 

Anyone not yet on the Umphrey's bandwagon deserves to know that the band is as innovative with their music as they are with their marketing.  Jazzy, jammy, danceable, psychedelic, intellectual, and above all experimental, UM is finding more fans and more acclaim all the time.  Last time they came through Boulder, we were lucky enough to be a part of the special all-acoustic Umphrey's experience.  This time, the band will be all-electric, turned up to 11, and pedaling high-energy mania like cheap beer – as much as you want for as long as you can take it.  The acoustic shows are fun, but this time it'll be Umphrey's in their element, the way they were meant to be seen. 

After they leave Colorado, Umphrey's McGee will hit the road again for the rest of their national tour, with stops basically everywhere from the here to the East Coast.  Check out the band's website for dates, and to download a free holiday EP featuring never-before released material culled from holiday shows over the past few years.  See you at the show!

Listen to the first single from Umphrey's McGee's MANTIS

photos by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

Umphrey's McGee's single "Made to Measure," from their forthcoming studio album Mantis (street date: January 20, 2009), was just released.

Listen now here.

Chicago's Umphrey's McGee enters its second decade together with their hardest, darkest, and most artistically cohesive album to date. The new album hits streets on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009, when Mantis casts another Windy City family into the limelight. Over 2 years in the making, Mantis pushes the envelope in composition, arrangement and group interplay.  In an Umphrey's McGee first, the album offers 100% new material  - a drastic change of pace for a band whose typical modus operandi is to work out the material live on-stage before recording studio versions.

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 will act as a "key" to an Umphreys.com micro-site where fans get access to exclusive 2009 content as it becomes available.

Umphrey's McGee is preparing for their always-epic New Year's eve run in Chicago.  This year at the Auditorium Theatre, the band will be joined on stage by musical icons Buddy Guy, Stanley Jordan, Joshua Redman, Jeff Coffin, and Koko Taylor.  Previous guests who've shared the stage with Umphrey's include Tortoise, Taj Mahal, The Wailers, Los Lobos and many more.

Umphrey's Mantis Pre-Order Takes Off

photos by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

Umphrey's McGee's one-of-a-kind pre-order campaign for their highly anticipated new studio release, Mantis (January 20, 2009 / SCI Fidelity Records) is already being recognized as a brilliant and innovative use of digital technology. The power of this new pre-order concept is in the hands of the fans.  Umphrey's offers fans more free bonus content the more Mantis pre-orders they receive; the fans "unlock" levels of content by getting more of their friends to pre-order the album.  The idea is to give the fans incentive to help spread the word about the album, and to offer a totally unique music experience.

Industry and fan response to the Mantis pre-order has been stellar.  Industry tastemakers and digital news leaders have taken notice, declaring it "one of the coolest pre-order ideas this side of [Radiohead's] In Rainbows and [Of Montreal's] Skeletal Lamping" and "...a pretty brilliant idea!!"

Thousands of fans have already passed around the Mantis widget, posting it on their Myspace and Facebook pages, blogs, etc.  In under a week, Umphrey's sold out of "deluxe package" preorders (which at $49.99 offers a copy of Mantis on Vinyl, a bonus DVD, and a number of other goodies that will be a surprise for fans who were able to grab one of these limited edition gems), and the band has taken more pre-orders than any release in their 11 year history.

Of course, all of this action has already helped unlock content Levels 1-6 of 9 possible levels. Fans are tracking their progress, and the bonus content they'll receive, at the Mantis pre-order page: umphreys.com/mantis.  The music has already begun to flow. Just last week the band gave their fans an unexpected nod: those who have pre-ordered were given exclusive download access to a live track from the band's recent Halloween show in San Francisco and a special "fly-on-the-wall" vocal rehearsal from back stage that same night, as well as a free MP3 of the first single from Mantis "Made to Measure".  Next, on December 4th, the band releases all Level 1 bonus content.

Chicago's Umphrey's McGee enters its second decade together with their hardest, darkest, and most artistically cohesive album to date. The new album hits streets on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009, when Mantis casts another Windy City family into the limelight. Over 2 years in the making, Mantis pushes the envelope in composition, arrangement and group interplay.  In an Umphrey's McGee first, the album offers 100% new material  - a drastic change of pace for a band whose typical modus operandi is to work out the material live on-stage before recording studio versions. 

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 will act as a "key" to an Umphreys.com micro-site where fans get access to exclusive 2009 content as it becomes available.  

Mantis is yet another innovative music experience to be 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.

Look for Umphrey's McGee on tour now, including their upcoming New Year's eve run at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre, where they'll be joined on stage by musical icons Buddy Guy, Stanley Jordan, Joshua Redman, Jeff Coffin, and Koko Taylor.  Previous guests who've shared the stage with Umphrey's include Tortoise, Taj Mahal, The Wailers, Los Lobos and many more.