In McGee of UmphreyIn its never-ending quest to provide its fans with the most unique live and recorded musical experiences, the band has adopted, or in most cases developed, a set of live and album enhancement tools for fans. . From the revolutionary “Headphones & Snowcones” program, which gives fans access to professional headphones and a soundboard-quality mix to listen wirelessly at shows, to their UMBowl, where the public can vote on the setlist in real time and choose their favorite improvisation themes via SMS, to become the first band to launch their own single-artist streaming service with UMLive.net, which has since grown and now lives through Nugs.net and is used by Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen to provide soundboard-quality concert recordings to fans, Chicago’s favorite improv rockers have sought out cool and unusual opportunities to connect with those who love them most. Today, Umphrey’s continues its march into new territory with the announcement of a limited Asking For A Friend NFT.
Equal parts access, utility, and collectability, this token grants fans access to the streaming premiere of Umphrey’s McGee’s new album, Asking For A Friend, on Lively the day before the disc’s release ( June 30 at 8 p.m. EST). Right after, the band will answer your questions, discuss the record, and share some behind-the-scenes photos and videos from the recording sessions. Additionally, the AFAF token grants access to download audio stems of the entire 14-song album. Fans can dive deep by accessing individual mixes of each instrument, singling out tracks, and playing at will. Each set of rods includes a Garage Band file for easy import to any Apple device. To tie the collection together, each token is also a limited edition work of art, featuring a composite image built from 14 individual lyric-based pieces. The streaming event will be hosted on Lively.
Hidden among the 2,022 NFTs are one-of-a-kind Easter eggs. Randomly selected holders will win copies of the vinyl pressing test, handwritten lyrics, studio-used song charts, free UM concert tickets, and more, bringing a taste of the legendary “Golden Ticket” giveaways. of the group on the Ethereum blockchain. Token holders are also eligible for future perk unlocks.
For those who may be new to NFT and want to test the water, Umphrey’s McGee and Nothing Too Fancy Music’s goal is to help educate their fans, and the wider jam band audience. , on the value of NFTs. This is an entry-level offer – $25 and purchasable by credit card if someone doesn’t have a wallet yet – that will hopefully pique curiosity and encourage fans to explore the world of NFTs and the benefits that could be available to them.
AFAF NFT will be available from June 21 for $25 or 0.02 ETH. Please visit AFAF.io for more information.
Last week, the band released another Asking For A Friend track ahead of its July 1 release via Nothing Too Fancy Music, “New Wings.” Umphrey singer and guitarist Brendan Bayliss once had the chance to try it out live at Wrigley Field during the Chicago Cubs’ fight against the St. Louis Cardinals last Friday. Check out a clip from the Marquee Sports broadcast here.
The upcoming Asking For A Friend comes with a behind-the-scenes podcast from Osiris Media called Talking Circles. With episodes leading up to the album’s release and extending throughout the summer, Talking Circles will tell the story of the writing and recording of this set of new songs using demos, recordings live, alternate takes, stem mixes and interviews with all six bands. members. Five episodes are currently live, including the “New Wings” backstory, right here.
Finally, Umphrey’s McGee continues its tour this week in Colorado. The band will be at the Dillon Amphitheater on June 16, the Red Rocks Amphitheater on June 17 and 18, and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail on June 19. For fans who can’t attend, all four shows will be streamed live via Nugs.net. A full list of Umphrey tour dates can be found below or at umpreys.com/tour.
Read more about Asking For A Friend: Recorded mostly in three separate sessions at three different studios during the pandemic and never performed live – their first album since 2009’s Mantis that fans haven’t gotten a glimpse of – Asking For A Friend explores a feeling that UM guitarist and vocalist Brendan Bayliss describes as “tapping into the idea that we were all isolated but still connected and feeling the same emotions”. This sense of isolation is perfectly captured in the album cover: the lonely cloud-shrouded peak of Chicago’s John Hancock Center (or 875 N Michigan Ave) photographed by Chicago’s Picture Poet himself, Barry Butler.
Asking For A Friend began to take shape in a pre-COVID world in September 2019 when the band met longtime UM engineer Greg Magers and producer Ryan Hewitt (Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Lumineers, The Avett Brothers) in Nashville for a session that would ultimately produce UM’s standalone single “Suxity” as well as the opening tracks for this new album. Session two found the band in guitarist Jake Cinninger’s home studio in Niles, Michigan, deep in the throes of the early months of the global pandemic. Working on new music by day and performing live by night proved to be very successful and entertaining for the band who had just been sidelined just three months prior. The band’s final full session for Asking For A Friend took place at ECTO Productions in Chicago, aka the band’s production warehouse. Relying once again on the recording during the day/playing at night mentality, UM completed live tracking the entire band for recording before putting the finishing touches on from their home studios. “It was a real welcome change to be able to sing the vocals in your pajamas,” says Bayliss.
Pulling the trigger and taking an enforced break after twenty years of touring not only resulted in a complex emotional reaction from the members of Umphrey’s McGee. “Those first three months felt like an eternity,” said keyboardist Joel Cummins. But “there was tremendous excitement and motivation when we got back together. More than ever, we realized how much we needed each other and this music. But their reunion also honed a new approach to letting their new music flowing freely; no more “This album reflects how far our songwriting has truly come from the days of assembling ‘legos’, a term given to explain our past process of assembling the greatest sum of the parts in an eclectic way,” says drummer Kris Myers. “Instead, we were able to naturally connect to these songs with our hearts, and a little less with our heads through simple, serene songs. .” The end result is a surprisingly cohesive fourteen-song album that feels like a fresh statement from a group of world-class musicians and friends who approach their craft with a new purpose. f, but longtime fans will be happy to know that the Umphrey McGee they know and love is still very much present on Asking For A Friend, just more refined.
Catch Umphrey’s McGee on tour:
June 16 – Dillon, CO – Dillon Amphitheater
June 17 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheater ^
June 18 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheater #
June 19 – Vail, CO – Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater
July 8 – Baldwinsville, NY – Bud Light Amphitheater at Paper Mill Island
July 9 – Marshfield, MA – Levitate Music & Arts Festival
July 10 – Selbyville, DE – Freeman Arts Pavilion
July 14 – Outer Banks, NC – Roanoke Island Festival Park
July 15 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony Summer Stage
July 16 – Thornville, OH – Werk Out Music and Arts Festival
July 21-24 – North Plains, OR – North West Range Summit
August 5-7 – Kenai Peninsula, AK – Salmonfest
August 18 – Indianapolis, IN – TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park $
August 19 – Maryland Heights, MO – St. Louis Music Park $
August 20 – Pelham, TN – The Caverns Amphitheater $
August 21 – Pelham, TN – The Caverns Amphitheater
August 24 – Grand Rapids, MI – Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
August 26-28 – Bridgeview, IL – Sacred Rose Festival
September 1 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory North Park
September 2 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
September 3 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
September 4 – Reno, Nevada – Grand Sierra Resort & Casino
September 8 – Salt Lake City, Utah – Red Butte Garden
September 9 – Bozeman, MT – THE ORME
September 29 – Richmond, VA – Music at Maymont
September 30 – Wilmington, NC – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
October 1 – Savannah, GA – Johnny Mercer Theater
October 2 – Birmingham, AL – Avondale Brewing Company
$ Co-billed with The Disco Biscuits
^ with support from lespecial
# with the support of Andy Frasco and the UN
For a full list of shows, as well as ticket information, please visit umpreys.com/tour.