Musicianship for the masses.
Fans who have followed Umphrey's McGee for any period of time know that there are only two guarantees: you never know what you’re going to get, and Umphrey’s always delivers.
How else can a band be relentlessly innovative in both music and fan engagement for 13+ years? The latest expected twist arrives in the form of their newest studio album (and first with ATO Records) ‘Death By Stereo’ (9/13), the follow up to 2009's ‘Mantis.’ ‘Mantis’ surprised fans with a collection of music never before played, and surprised the music industry with an innovative marketing campaign that catapulted the album past the Heatseekers chart, debuting at #62 on Billboard's “Top 200” chart without any radio play or television appearances.
‘Death By Stereo’s concise melodic approach and accessible songwriting is everything fans had hoped for, but not what anyone expected. ‘Death By Stereo’ is disarmingly straightforward. Sure, you can dance to it, but the clever arrangements, meticulously crafted chordal interplay, and virtuoso instrumentation put Umphrey's McGee in a category all their own.
Whereas this band’s stellar reputation is based on marathon concerts that mix original, technically demanding tunes with complex epics and, playful covers (ranging from Toto to Metallica), it has chosen the same kind of attention to melody, songcraft, and musicianship that make those artists stand apart. Umphrey’s chemistry, however, is something all its own, built upon a relentless live schedule of 100-plus shows a year, a solid base of musical training, and friendships that go back to when they walked in the shadows of the Golden Dome at the University of Notre Dame.
These days, the band plays for crowds from all over the US and beyond, and incorporates a sophisticated mix of cutting-edge technology, including a stellar light show. Its Stew Art concerts redefine live music as we know it, with fans texting to choose the direction of the band’s set, while the four-quarter UMBowls (each quarter has a different interactive theme) have quickly become landmark events not to be missed.
To date, the band has sold more than nearly 2 million tracks online and ‘Death by Stereo’ will only increase their reach. The album is produced by sonic wizards Manny Sanchez (Smashing Pumpkins, Fall Out Boy) and Kevin Browning, whose deep knowledge of analog and digital gear has helped the band craft its sound for years.
Umphrey’s McGee is musicianship for the masses.
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