Exposé Online banner

Umphrey's McGee — Wrapped around Chicago
(Sci Fidelity SCIFI 1028, 2005, 2DVD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2006-05-01

Wrapped around Chicago Cover artUmphrey’s McGee occupies one of those favorable music niches somewhere between late era Phish and the Dave Mathews Band. The jam band moniker has been a complete benefit for the six-piece act as the twin-axe attack of Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinniger shows why their interaction isn’t just a natural extension of the Dead or the Allman Brothers. Maybe it’s because the band has the chops to mix it up and gives space to drummer Kris Myer’s adeptly played percussion solos. At times the group recalls Bruce Hornsby’s classy jazz excursions as on “Great American” or the funky “Sociable Jimmy.” Bayliss is a great soloist, using economies of style across the disc and giving room to Cinniger’s flights of fancy. Like Phish’s Halloween shows, Umphrey’s adds a few twists of their own at this extended New Year’s evening gig complete with parading midgets on “The Crooked One” that sounds more like Gwar with less obnoxious visuals. Disc two shows the group with an expanded brass section on “Ophelia” catering to a Dr. John New Orleans style groove. “Nopener” even takes the band into lounge format with Bayliss switching off to drums and the players showing scope to their skills with a spoof on the Brat Pack ala the Tubes. “Miss Twinkle’s Overture” shines as the best performance on disc as the band interplay is tight and inspired. The only popular cover is a slippery take on Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer,” which comes off solidly with a pumping low end that is nearly as infectious as the original. Overall I’d say the band it one hot ticket not to be missed for a year’s end bash.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Umphrey's McGee

Latest news

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more

2018-01-05
Ray Thomas RIP – On Thursday, 4 January 2017, the world lost Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues. Thomas sang and played flute, and was responsible for writing a number of the band's most memorable songs. He was 76. » Read more

2017-12-22
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Team Metlay - Bandwidth – Back in the summer of 1990 Mike Metlay formed Team Metlay from among fellow participants in the electronic music discussion sessions on the Internet. For those of you not yet on the information...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues