Umphrey's McGee gets set for 'Mantis'
Hard-touring jam band Umphrey's McGee is prepping fans for its new record with an inventive pre-order campaign and plans for an extensive US tour.
The group's eighth album, "Mantis," is due Jan. 20 and Umphrey's McGee is offering different levels of downloadable bonus content depending on how many pre-orders are received. So far, the first six of nine possible levels have been unlocked, according to a press release. UM will also use PUSH technology by Digital Insert to continue delivering exclusive bonus material throughout 2009 via a site that can only be accessed with a physical or digital copy of the album. Details are available at the band's website.
Meanwhile, Umphrey's McGee has mapped out a 25-city tour to showcase material from "Mantis." The jaunt officially kicks off Jan. 22 in Ft. Collins, CO, and visits clubs and theaters from coast to coast through early May. Multiple nights are booked in Madison, WI; Birmingham, AL; Minneapolis; Atlanta; Indianapolis; New York City; and New Orleans.
Before the bandmates launch into the New Year, they'll zip up 2008 with a handful of engagements, including several mid-December performances at Jamaica's Caribbean Holidaze event and UM's annual New Year's Eve run in their hometown of Chicago. The group's full US schedule is included below and info about the Jamaican event is posted at UM's website.
"Mantis" comes as the members of Umphrey's McGee enter their second decade together, and marks their first album to consist entirely of material never previously performed on the road.
"Since the songs were realized in the studio rather than on the road, expect them to get a serious workout in 2009 and beyond," the bandmates said in a blog posting at their MySpace page. "We look forward to joining you on tour and watch[ing] how the songs change, evolve, and grow as we experiment, deconstruct, reconstruct, and discover the full potential of the new material in a live context."
Even though UM is considered a jam band, "Mantis" clocks in at a concise 54 minutes, according to the group's bio.
"We didn't want to overload the record with 80 minutes of music," multi-instrumentalist Jake Cinninger explained. "We wanted to make it feel a certain way, so we trimmed away a lot of the fat."
The album's lead single, "Made to Measure," was just released and is streaming at the band's MySpace page.
The forthcoming set follows last year's "Live at the Murat," as well as UM's 2006 studio releases: "Safety In Numbers" and its sequel, "The Bottom Half."