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UMPHREY’S MCGEE

and BIG SOMETHING

April 29

5:30 pm

Umphrey’s McGee are more than just a rock band – through nearly two decades, they have proven to be on the cutting-edge of both music and technology, super-serving fans through a community that stretches from the campus of Notre Dame to the hallowed halls of Abbey Road.

After 18-plus years of performing more than 100 concerts annually, releasing nine studio albums and selling more than 4.2 million tracks online, Umphrey’s McGee might be forgiven if they chose to rest on their laurels. But then that wouldn’t be consistent with the work ethic demonstrated by the band, which consistently attempts to raise the bar, setting and achieving new goals since forming on the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Indiana, in 1997. After releasing their eighth studio album, Similar Skin, the first for their own indie label, Nothing Too Fancy (N2F) Music (distributed by RED), the group continued to push the envelope and test the limits. The London Session was a dream come true for the members having been recorded at the legendary Studio Two at historic Abbey Road. The stealth recording session yielded 10 tracks in a single day, proving once again, the prolific UM waits for no one.

As a follow up to The London Session, the envelope pushing continued with the November 11th release of ZONKEY. Umphrey’s McGee has been arranging and performing original mashups live for over eight years. It was only a matter of when, not if, some of those innovative concoctions would find their way into a studio. An album of 12 unique mashups conceived and arranged by the band, ZONKEY is as seamless as it bizarre, playful as it is razor sharp. Bits and pieces of classic songs are culled from 40-plus years of popular music from 70s Reggae to 80s Pop to 90s Metal and everywhere in between. From Radiohead mashed with Beck, The Weeknd with Fleetwood Mac, Talking Heads with Bob Marley, Metallica with Gorillaz . . . nothing is off limits.

The original Umphrey’s McGee played a mix of originals and cover songs, waiting just eight months to release their debut album, the cheekily titled Greatest Hits Volume III. Their initial “proper” recording, Local Band Does OK, came out in 2002, followed shortly afterward by an appearance at the first-ever Bonnaroo in Tennessee, selling more albums than any other band on the bill. The 2007 double album, Live at the Murat, earned a four-star review in Rolling Stone and a Jammy for Best Live Album.

Despite attempts at categorizing UM, the band has devoted its craft to making their devoted followers feel as if they are part of something larger, through such technology-fueled innovations as fan-curated sets, the immersive high-end audio offering, “Headphones & Snowcones,” where the pristine sound of the live soundboard mix is piped wirelessly through high-end personal monitor systems and headphones, as well as making every live show since 2005 available via their live music portal UMLive.net. UM were also the first group to launch its own single-artist streaming service.

A 6-piece powerhouse with a sound that is both unique and timeless, Big Something fuses elements of rock, pop, funk, and improvisation to take listeners on a journey through a myriad of musical styles. It’s no secret why this group has quickly become one of the most exciting new bands to emerge from the Southeast. Soaring guitars, synths, horns and alluring vocal hooks rise to the top of their infectious collection of songs and represent a sound that has caught the ears of such revered Summer circuit stalwarts as Galactic, moe., Robert Randolph, and even The B-52s who have all tapped Big Something as direct support.

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