Wednesday To-Do: Umphrey's McGee | Rock Candy

Wednesday To-Do: Umphrey's McGee

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Umphreys McGee plays Wednesday night at Georges in Fayetteville.
  • Chad Smith
  • Umphreys McGee plays Wednesday night at Georges in Fayetteville.

UMPHREY'S MCGEE
8 p.m. George's Majestic Lounge. $29.

Of all the many, many wisdom nuggets contained in Joe Boyd's fascinating autobiography "White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s," my favorite is this: "The stoned ear loves complexity." Does it ever. Boyd was referring to Scottish acid-folkies The Incredible String Band, one of the groups he produced back in the heyday of the hippies. But his observation rings true still and could certainly apply to Umphrey's McGee, a Chicago six-piece that's been one of the bigger bands on the jam circuit for several years now.

These are the kind of guys who in middle school worshipped Metallica and Maiden and then in high school they got into Zappa and Santana and then they went to college and somebody hipped 'em to Gong and PFM and every spare minute they had they spent hunched over their guitars or drum kits playing scales and rudiments. Then they started a band that took all those influences and countless hours of practice and put 'em in a giant blender.

While UM generally falls into the jam-band milieu, they're not as classic rock-oriented as peers like The String Cheese Incident and not as electronically inclined as bands like STS9 or The Disco Biscuits. They have, however, earned that most coveted jam-band distinction, which is a fan base big enough to justify having its own name. In this case, it would be the Umphreaks, who will likely be out in force for this show. Tickets are apparently going fast, so get on it, Umphreaks.

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