Exposé Online banner

Umphrey's McGee — Safety in Numbers
(Sci Fidelity SCIFI 1032, 2006, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01

Safety in Numbers Cover art

Umphrey’s McGee is still an anomaly in the jam band void left open by the disbanding of Phish. Umphrey’s fills that gap for fans largely due to their prominent self-deprecating humor and also by the sextet’s high quality musicianship and arrangements. From the first few strains of the lead cut, “Believe the Lie,” it’s clear that the band is heavily leveraging easier-to-assimilate works (set in place by their last CD Anchor Drop). Guitarist Brendan Bayliss’s songcraft works in tandem with Jake Cinniger’s songs across the disc. Bayliss’s songwriting is perhaps best represented on the country-fried acoustic ballad “Rocker,” which is adequately accompanied by a lightly mixed string section. His best songwriting effort culminates with “Ocean Billy,” that is lead by a radio mix that pans into a full band riffing melee. In contrast, Cinniger’s most notable contributions include the folksy “Liquid,” which captures the essence of the Dead circa Working Man’s Dead. The band’s high profile new friends include Huey Lewis (mouth harp) and Joshua Redman (alto sax), who lend a creditable hand on three separate cuts, with “Intentions Clear” being the best jazz inflected collaboration. Overall the disc shows songwriting maturity as the band has refined their skills (much in the same mode as moe. rather than Dave Mathews band).


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Umphrey's McGee

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Meira Asher - Dissected – Saying Israeli composer and vocalist Meira Asher is a vanguard comes as a bit of an understatement. Her work has been acclaimed worldwide as she meshes and scrutinizes world culture to fit her...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues