Umphrey’s McGee to jam in SylvaniaWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
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“Local Band Does OK.” “Songs for Older Women.” “One Fat Sucka.”
Disc titles can make a statement.
And it was apparent from the 1998 Umphrey’s McGee debut, “Greatest Hits Vol. III,” the band has a sense of humor.
“We try to take our job seriously to an extent, and then we’re out there trying to make music and have a good time so we might as well make it fun for ourselves, too,” said keyboardist and vocalist Joel Cummins.
The prog rockers’ 2009 release is called “Mantis.”
Are the guys fans of the short-lived 1994 TV show that starred Carl Lumbly? Maybe they’re into gardening and have a tiller? Wait, they love the stand-up roller coaster at Cedar Point …
No, they’re going more literal this time, according to their website, www.umphreys.com, which mentions the insect “with an exceptional range of vision” and that mantis is the Greek word for prophet.
“Our goal was to put out our strongest record to date,” Cummins said during a call from his Chicago home.
And he and guitarists and vocalists Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger, percussionist Andy Farag, drummer and vocalist Kris Myers, and bassist Ryan Stasik took their time making the disc.
The opening track, “Made to Measure,” is the result of a two-and-a-half-year jam session.
“That was the only track on ‘Mantis’ that we recorded together as a band, all live together in the same room,” Cummins said. “I’m sure there are lots of different versions of it that exist along its creative path.”
Part of that path crossed the stage.
“I think some of the stuff is even from live shows that we had played when we came up with something and it kind of worked out so we based things off of that,” Cummins said.
“We have the good pleasure to be able to create a new show every day,” he added. “I love that everybody that’s there is enjoying something that’s happening once and every other time will be a little bit different, so it’s a really authentic experience.”
Umphrey’s McGee will play with fellow jam band moe. at 7 p.m. July 7 at Centennial Terrace in Sylvania.
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