Umphrey's McGee

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The buzz from the excited crowd anticipating two of the jam band's scene's most up and coming bands was fresh and impulsive. These are bands that have mostly broken through by their tediousness in touring and their successful musical appearances at major festivals such as Bonnaroo and Wakarusa.

The second day of the 10,000 Lakes Festival at the Soo Pass Ranch in Detroit Lakes, MN, dawned sunny and not as hot as the opener.  Festivalgoers crawled out of their tents relatively early to take showers and start their day with caffeine. A coffee vender was doing a brisk business.

Of all the great artists making the rounds this year, none have been more ambitious than Umphrey's McGee.  They released the follow-up album to Safety in Numbers called The Bottom Half; a risky two-disc endeavor of leftover studio gems and insightful audio fragments.  The band has also since embarked on a national tour that will take them all across the nation, including stops at such top festivals as

Normally I am a little skeptical of artists who release albums that are dubbed "B-sides" or "leftover recording material", because it usually is a feeble attempt to cash in on material that truly is b-grade.  However, this is not the case with the release of Umphreys McGee's The Bottom Half, which happens to boast some beautifully written and energetically recorded tracks from the Chicago-based rock outfit.

This past week the legendary Fox Theater in Boulder celebrated fifteen years of bringing exceptional music to Colorado.  The year was 1992 when Don Strasburg and his associates decided to turn the once rundown movie theater into one of the country's most popular music venues.  Since then, such celebrated artists as Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews Band,

"One of my favorite quotes by Igor Stravinsky, is 'My music is best understood by children and animals,'" says Joel Cummins, the keyboard player for Umphrey's McGee." I thought that was kind of cool because on some level he's kind of saying, 'Don't think about it too hard. Just try to experience it.'