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Umphrey's McGee adds to Fall Tour & Announces NYE run

Today, Umphrey’s McGee rounds out their fall tour plans with newly confirmed dates in Kalamazoo, Michigan; Champaign, Illinois; Burlington, Vermont; Washington D.C, and others. Also announced today, Umphrey’s McGee will spend New Year’s Eve in their hometown of Chicago for one more year, this time at the city’s Riviera Theatre on December 29, 30 and 31. The band’s complete list of fall dates is included below.

As the band’s keyboardist Joel Cummins explains about their tenth New Year’s in Chicago, and their last for at least a while, "We've played nearly every room in Chicago over the course of our career, to continue keeping things interesting, we've chosen one of our favorite venues in the city this year, the Riviera Theatre, with a perfect combination of lots of open floor for dancing and seats in the balcony with great sight lines. We can't wait to feel the energy in this legendary Chicago haunt explode!"

As always, along the band’s fall dates Umphrey’s continues to raise the bar for fan experiences, with their innovative and interactive Stew Art events planned in at least a few markets, and an incredibly creative first-time offer of “Enhanced Experience” fan packages for their always-epic Halloween Monster Mash-Up in St. Louis on October 30 and 31, and for their New Year’s Eve run.

For the Halloween shows, “Partyin' Peeps Enhanced Experience” fan package amenities include express entry into the venue each night, a limited edition Halloween Jeff Wood 3D hologram poster, VIP area access with private cocktail service, an exclusive piece of Umphrey's McGee Halloween merchandise, a private post-show party, and more. At the Platinum Partyin' Peeps level, fans get a chance for them and twenty of their friends to have their own private dressing room backstage, a private meet and greet photo session with the band in costume, a tour of the Umphrey's McGee bus, and more. Meanwhile in Chicago, New Year’s Eve travel package amenities include downtown lodging, early entry and reserved balcony seats, VIP section access, a pre-show “Very Happy Hour,” merchandise including the official UM Track Jacket, limited edition NYE posters, and each night’s UM Live recording, an exclusive lighting demonstration by the band’s light designer, and a meet and greet with the band. Visit www.umphreys.com more all the details.

Umphrey’s McGee will host their Stew Art Series (aka, “S2”) – an interactive fan experience where audience members “conduct” the band’s live improvisations - in at least of few markets along the fall tour. Presented 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 is entirely directed by S2 audience members. Check out this S2 video from the inaugural S2 event in Milwaukee.

S2 events have been received with overwhelming enthusiasm and to rave reviews. For S2, sold-out crowds of 50 fans submit their ideas by texting descriptive words, phrases, and pop culture references (pretty much whatever comes 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.” Stay tuned to www.umphreys.com for confirmation on S2 fall events.

Umphrey’s McGee’s current list of fall tour dates is as follows:

Thursday, September 23 Valarium Knoxville TN

Friday, September 24 Minglewood Hall Memphis TN

Saturday, September 25 The Diamond Ballroom Oklahoma City OK

Sunday, September 26 George's Majestic Lounge Fayetteville AR

Tuesday, September 28 El Rey Theatre Albuquerque NM

Wednesday, September 29 Orpheum Theatre Flagstaff AZ

Friday, October 1 The Depot Salt Lake City UT

Saturday, October 2 Knitting Factory Spokane WA

Sunday, October 3 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Speedway Meadows San Francisco CA

Wednesday, October 6 Arcata Theatre Arcata CA

Thursday, October 7 McDonald Theatre Eugene OR

Friday, October 8 The Showbox Seattle WA

Saturday, October 9 The Wilma Theatre Missoula MT

Thursday, October 21 Mr. Smalls Theatre Millvale PA

Friday, October 22 Kalamazoo State Theatre Kalamazoo MI

Saturday, October 23 House of Blues - Cleveland Cleveland OH

Sunday, October 24 Bluebird Nightclub Bloomington IN

Wednesday, October 27 People's Court Des Moines IA

Thursday, October 28 & Friday, October 29 Canopy Club Urbana IL

Saturday, October 30 & Sunday, October 31 The Pageant St. Louis MO

Wednesday, November 3 & Thursday, November 4 Higher Ground Ballroom South Burlington VT

Friday, November 5 & Saturday, November 6 9:30 Club Washington D.C.

Tuesday, November 9 Jefferson Theater Charlottesville VA

Wednesday, November 10 Legends at Appalachian State University Boone NC

Thursday, November 11 & Friday, November 12 Bear Creek Music & Art Fest Live Oak, FL

Wednesday, December 29, Thursday, December 30, & Friday, December 31 Riviera Theatre Chicago IL

Thursday, January 20 > Monday, January 24 Mayan Holidaze Puerto Morelos MEX

Phish's "Live Bait" from Summer 2010

In case you missed this news, we have released a Free download sampler from Phish's Summer Tour 2010 Leg 1 called "Live Bait" which is the first in a series of free downloads that will be offered from livephish.com.  This volume of Live Bait will feature 10 tracks gleaned from the tour’s first leg, including older songs from the band's vast catalog (“Alumni Blues,” “Letter to Jimmy Page”) as well fan favorites (“Tweezer,” “Backwards Down the Number Line”) and a new track, “Show of Life,” which debuted this summer. It includes a widget through which fans can post to their favorite networking sites and share with friends. Live Bait is available now here.

Check out lots of summer Phish coverage on Grateful Web:

Telluride

Merriweather Post

Portsmouth, VA

Umphrey's McGee Announces Fall 2010 Tourdates

After a summer of much-praised high-profile festival performances, pop prog rockers Umphrey’s McGee heads indoors this fall to play in many of the country’s most beloved theatres. As always, along the way Umphrey’s continues to raise the bar for fan experiences, with their innovative and interactive Stew Art events planned in at least a few markets, and an incredibly creative first-time offer of “Enhanced Experience” fan packages for their always-epic Halloween Monster Mash-Up in St. Louis on October 30 and 31.

Media and fan reviews from Bonnaroo, Summerfest, Gathering of the Vibes, and All Good all confirmed, there is good reason that Umphrey's McGee has become a standout festival favorite, garnering coveted performance slots playing in front of the country’s largest audiences. Now, Umphrey’s takes their much-hailed live show indoors to venues in the southeast, Midwest and western States. The band’s complete fall tour schedule is listed below.

For this year’s Halloween Monster Mash-Up at St. Louis’ Pageant on October 30 and 31, Umphrey’s McGee unveils another unparalleled fan-centric experience - their “Partyin' Peeps Enhanced Experience” fan packages. Package amenities include express entry into the venue each night, a limited edition Halloween Jeff Wood 3D hologram poster, VIP area access with private cocktail service, an exclusive piece of Umphrey's McGee Halloween merchandise, a private post-show party, and more. At the Platinum Partyin' Peeps level, fans get a chance for them and twenty of their friends to have their own private dressing room backstage, a private meet and greet photo session with the band in costume, a tour of the Umphrey's McGee bus, and more. Visit umphreys.com more all the details.

Umphry’s McGee’s will host their Stew Art Series (aka, “S2”) – an interactive fan experience where audience members “conduct” the band’s live improvisations - in at least of few markets along the fall tour. Presented 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 is entirely directed by S2 audience members. Check out this S2 video from the inaugural S2 event in Milwaukee.

S2 events have been received with overwhelming enthusiasm and to rave reviews. For S2, sold-out crowds of 50 fans submit their ideas by texting descriptive words, phrases, and pop culture references (pretty much whatever comes 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.” Stay tuned to umphreys.com for confirmation on S2 fall events.

Umphrey’s McGee’s current list of fall tour dates is as follows:

Saturday, September 4 North Coast Music Festival Chicago IL
Thursday, September 23 Valarium Knoxville TN
Friday, September 24 Minglewood Hall Memphis TN
Saturday, September 25 The Diamond Ballroom Oklahoma City OK
Sunday, September 26 George's Majestic Lounge Fayetteville AR
Tuesday, September 28 El Rey Theatre Albuquerque NM
Wednesday, September 29 Orpheum Theatre Flagstaff AZ
Friday, October 1 The Depot Salt Lake City UT
Saturday, October 2 Knitting Factory Reno NV
Sunday, October 3 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Speedway Meadows San Francisco CA
Wednesday, October 6 Arcata Theatre Arcata CA
Thursday, October 7 McDonald Theatre Eugene OR
Friday, October 8 The Showbox Seattle WA
Saturday, October 9 The Wilma Theatre Missoula MT
Thursday, October 21 Mr. Smalls Theatre Millvale PA
Saturday, October 23 House of Blues - Cleveland Cleveland OH
Wednesday, October 27 People's Court Des Moines IA
Saturday, October 30 - Sunday, October 31 The Pageant St. Louis MO
Thursday, November 11 - Friday, November 12 Bear Creek Music & Art Fest, Live Oak, Fla
Thursday, January 20 - Monday, January 24 Mayan Holidaze Puerto Morelos MEX

Lone Star Icon Gary P Nunn To Release TAKING TEXAS TO THE COUNTRY

Gary P. Nunn and Guacamole Records are pleased to announce the April 6 release date of TAKING TEXAS TO THE COUNTRY, fifteenth studio album from the renowned artist touted as a “Texas Music Institution.” A travelogue of moods and songs, this new independent recording lends itself to a variety of dance rhythms, exposing emotional sweet spots layered with the heartfelt singing the traditionalist movement is praised for.

A 13-track adventure that crosses the borders and many a state line, the album orbits into the atmosphere with “Deja Vu,” a true to form “cosmic cowboy” trip back to a lost love. Wistful memories are revisited in the Mile-High City on “Denver,” a ramped up Cajun fais do do in “Down To Louisiana” offers an upbeat take on a New Orleans tradition while the soundtrack for a tropical island getaway is played out on “Mexican Boulevard” and “It’s Not Love.”

Longing for a return trip to Texas, “One State of Mind” eases the homesick heart while “Lone Star Blues” tours the cities and towns of the Republic. A colorful cast of characters, which includes a true Texan on “The Likes of Me” and a consummate bachelor who sings the anthem that is “I’m Not That Kind of Guy,” peppers the collection.

Love, a common theme whether lost or being searched for, is found just “A Two-Step Away” on a Friday night when “The Girl Just Loves to Dance.” The title track moves in toward the end with a message to Nashville about real country music still residing and flourishing in Texas and the sweetly pleading closing devotional “The Rest of My Life” ends the journey.
Tracked at Cherry Ridge Recording Studio in Floresville by distinguished C&W producer Tommy Detamore, TAKING TEXAS TO THE COUNTRY features three new tunes written or co-written by Nunn, a respected songwriter in his own right, alongside numbers by writers such as Johnny Divine, Levi Mullen, Steven Kundert, Michael Halvorsen and Gary’s brother, Steve K. Nunn. Arriving with a stamp of fan approval, Nunn has been showcasing the tunes, road-testing them alongside his Bunkhouse Band and using audience reaction and support as a marker while deciding what to record on the album.
A revered mainstay on the Texas Music Scene, and a seasoned inspiration to the upcoming generations of rising stars, Nunn is no stranger to acclaim and accolades. In addition to many gold albums, his efforts have been applauded and recognized with a number of notable awards and honors. Texas Governor Mark White named him an Official Ambassador to the World, and years later Governor Rick Perry followed by declaring him an Ambassador of Texas Music. An induction into the Texas Hall of Fame came in 2004, and Nunn is also honored in the West Texas Walk of Fame in Lubbock. The Texas Department of Commerce and Tourism’s also included him on the roster of Lone Star Greats who are leaders in the fields of art, athletics and music. The previous residence he established on an 800-acre cattle in Oklahoma allowed him to be recognized by the Oklahoma House of Representatives for his contribution to the preservation of the unique Southwestern style of music.
Having carved the path for the DIY movement prevalent in today’s independent music scene, Nunn’s TAKING TEXAS TO THE COUNTY continues these efforts, providing just the right amount of authenticity needed to ensure his reputation as being indisputably Texas and undeniably a fan favorite. For it is Nunn’s ongoing mission to make a connection with the audiences he entertains; over the last half-century Nunn has garnered a bevy of loyal fans by incorporating a variety of indigenous Texas genres and neighboring styles so as to paint a picture of the land and culture he calls “home.”
With the talent, acclaim, and support behind the release of TAKING TEXAS TO THE COUNTRY, a new chapter in Nunn’s career has evidently just begun.
Gary P. Nunn Texas Album Release shows and special appearances include:
April 2, Gilley’s, Dallas
April 3, Poodie s Hilltop Cafe, Spicewood, Texas
April 7, Hall Of Fame, Bryan, Texas
April 9, Blanco’s Bar & Grill, Houston
April 16, Broken Spoke, Austin *
April 17, Texas Hat Dance, Fredericksburg, Texas*
April 18, Texas Crawfish Festival, Old Town Spring, Texas
April 25, Love & War In Texas, Plano, Texas*
May 1, Gruene Hall, New Braunfels, Texas*
May 8, The Armadillo Palace, Houston
May 14, The Blue Light, Lubbock, Texas*
May 15, Outskirts, Wichita Falls, Texas*
May 16, Maifest, Anhalt, Texas
May 21, Hardin County Music Fest, Kountze, Texas
May 22, Great Texas Sausage Festival, Lake Somerville, Texas
May 28, Back Porch, Port Aransas, Texas*
May 29, House Pasture, Con Can, Texas*
May 30, Lakeside Icehouse, Bryan, Texas
June 2, County Line BBQ, San Antonio
June 4, Broken Spoke, Austin
June 6, Love and War In Texas (Shiner Sunday), Plano, Texas
* Dedicated Album Release Shows

Trading Label for Fan-based Experiment: Ari Hest's Song a Week

Ari Hest- for the Grateful Web

In January, singer/songwriter Ari Hest launched an ambitious project to write and record a song each week of the rest of the year. Fans would then pick their favorite songs and twelve songs would be pressed into a new album. Fifty-two songs in a year would daunt many a songwriter, but for Hest it's an opportunity to showcase new work. "I have a lot of ideas," Hest says. "Music comes to me very quickly. It's the lyrics that take a while longer. I knew that that would really be the hardest part of writing this year. There are still tons of songs I still have to write. I just have to keep life interesting and keep meeting new people for inspiration."

It's not surprising that Hest is attempting this kind of project. He's been writing songs since he was in high school. "I never thought that this would end up being my career," he says.  He was writing and playing in bands for fun.  But after his last band broke up, Hest recalls, "I started to realize that I don't need a band with the music that I was writing, which was highly percussive, acoustic guitar music." He began recording his own records that didn't leave room for any other instrumentation.

Then, in 2004, he was signed by Columbia Records who decided to re-release one of his independent recordings. They remixed it and offered it to the public. That effort set a precedent for Hest. From that moment on, Hest was chasing his older material. For some artists that wouldn't be a problem, but for Hest who was constantly evolving, those label efforts jerked his creative temperament. That first recording had songs on it that were three or four years old. "I thought I was done with them, but then I had to tease myself into thinking that they were new again for the general public who still had not heard them," he recalls. "I was writing stuff in 2004 that didn't see the light of day until the Break In, which was my last CD in 2006.  It just set this cycle up where I had plenty of material all the time. It was kind of a nice problem, but at the same time it was mentally a little challenging, knowing that you are writing better songs now but you have to promote songs that you wrote a while ago. Really for me, the style of my playing changed and my thinking about what I feel is a quality song, even my singing style changed tremendously in the last three years."

Those old songs have been good to Hest. "If you go to iTunes right now and you look at what my most popular downloaded songs are," he says, "you'll find that the majority of them are old. They are songs I wrote six or seven years ago.  It almost doesn't sound like what I do now. I am proud of those songs. I think the writing, especially for my age at the time, is pretty good, but I feel that I've gone in a very different direction, one that I'm happier with now."

So, when Hest parted with Columbia, he decided to find a new way to produce his music.  He decided then to write and record current songs. But this time the songs are immediate. These weren't songs that were written months or years ago, but last week or yesterday.

But Hest realizes that even putting a song a week on a website may not be enough involvement for his fans. "We wanted to make this more interactive. We wanted to involve them as much as we could in the creative end of things," he says. "Basically, they're being my A&R people. They are telling me which songs they like the best and which songs they think that other people will like the best. I'm going to listen to them." Moreover, Hest will hire a producer to bring some cohesiveness to the album.

"Everybody needs more word of mouth networking," Hest adds. "I don't have the money to do a whole lot of publicity without a major label. I need to rely on my fans to tell their friends."

Between meeting interesting people and recording the songs those meetings generate, Hest continues to tour college campuses.

Its tough being a Nebraska Cornhusker football fan lately.

2004 Nebraska Cornhuskers- for the Grateful Web
Nebraska vs. Western Ill.- for the Grateful Web

For the first time in 36 years, Nebraska is not going bowling this coming bowl season. Gone are the 42 years without a losing season.   The demise really first started with the pummeling Nebraska took in 2001 in Boulder, when Nebraska, ranked #1, ended up losing 62 -36, their worse loss in school history.  After that, Nebraska was beat up in the Rose Bowl...  and the bleeding just begun.  In 2002, what I sarcastically refer to the season as the 'goal post tour 2002,' because fans of every team Nebraska faced on the road tore down their goal posts in celebration of beating Nebraska.  In three short years, a program that was feared everywhere dropped to everyday status. First came the end of the 33-year run in the polls in 2002. Then the nine-win season streak fell.  The only streak we have left in consecutive sell-outs at Memorial Stadium, but if Nebraska continues to be a mediocre team, one will wonder if that will go too.. 

Mike Moran, Grateful Web & Nebraska Alumnus