April 10, 2015

Umphrey's McGee: The London Session - A Day at Abbey Road Studios

BEST OF 2015

Progressive jam band Umphrey's McGee doesn't shy away from a big challenge. They got a chance to record at the renowned Studio 2 @ Abbey Road in London last year and cut a full album within 12 hours. Safe for the vocals (those were added at a later stage in Chicago and LA) The London Session - A Day at Abbey Road Studios takes full advantage of the superb acoustics and dynamics. Given the limited time they had, the sextet opted for stuff that they have been playing live a ton, but never got around to recording in the studio plus a cover of The Beatles classic I Want You (She’s So Heavy), the famous users of Studio 2.

Recording live from the floor is tricky - one band member can screw up a take, but the hallowed "one take wonder" is something that never can be matched with overdubs, edits and such. To up he ante even further, they went for a variety of moods and styles, thus making things way more complicated for the engineers. Acoustic songs (No Diablo, Cut the Cable) sit comfortably next to full-on freak rock (Plunger, Rocker Part 2) and funky jazzy prog stuff (Glory, Bad Friday).

Umphrey's McGee overcame jet lag and nerves to end up with an album that is a 101 for musicians that lock themselves in a pressure cooker of sorts. The London Session - A Day at Abbey Road Studios sounds like a superb live record. It will be hard to capture this kind of intensity and fun when they go back to traditional studio recording methods for the next one.

Umphrey's McGee:
Brendan Bayliss: guitar, vocals
Joel Cummins: keyboards, vocals
Ryan Stasik: bass
Andy Farag: percussion
Jake Cinninger: guitar, vocals
Kris Myers: drums, vocals

The London Session - A Day at Abbey Road Studios is released thru Hanging Brains Music. Buy it from their website. The 2LP vinyl has a live version of In the Kitchen recorded at the Brooklyn Bowl in London on June 19, 2014.

  1. Bad Friday
  2. Rocker Part 2
  3. No Diablo
  4. Cut the Cable
  5. Out of Order
  6. Glory
  7. Plunger
  8. Comma Later
  9. Eat
  10. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
  11. In the Kitchen (Live From Brooklyn Bowl London 6.19.14) (vinyl only)

Live dates:
  • 04/10 St Augustine Amphitheatre, St Augustine, FL
  • 04/11 St Augustine Amphitheatre, St Augustine, FL
  • 04/15 George's Majestic Lounge, Fayetteville, AR
  • 04/16 House of Blues Dallas, Dallas, TX
  • 04/17 House of Blues Houston, Houston, TX
  • 04/18 Stubb's, Austin, TX
  • 04/23 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
  • 04/24 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
  • 04/25 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
  • 05/01 Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
  • 05/02 Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
  • 05/22 Summer Camp 2015, Chillicothe, IL
  • 06/21 Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 06/26 Brenton Skating Plaza, Des Moines, IA
  • 06/27 Crossroads KC, Kansas City, MO
  • 07/02 Boulder Theatre, Boulder, CO
  • 07/03 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO
  • 07/16 Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Boston, MA
  • 07/17 Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park, NJ
  • 07/18 River Stage at Great Plaza, Philadelphia, PA
  • 07/19 Pier Six Pavilion, Baltimore, MD
  • 08/13 Iroquois Amphitheater, Louisville, KY
  • 08/14 Ravinia, Highland Park, IL

» umphreys.com

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