On April 3, 2007 Umphrey?s McGee released a double disc album ? a spontaneous and intriguing follow-up to their highly touted spring 2006 studio release Safety In Numbers. Titled The Bottom Half, disc one features ten songs that did not make it onto Safety In Numbers, while disc two offers outtakes, alternative versions of songs, a cappella recordings, and other bits from the band?s 2005 studio sessions. As with Safety In Numbers, famed album artist Storm Thorgerson has designed the artwork for The Bottom Half.
Safety In Numbers attracted mountains of attention for Chicago?s rising stars during 2006. The highly anticipated album charted on Billboard?s Top 200 and on the coveted "Heatseekers" chart, and received a "4 Star" review in Blender magazine. Also in 2006, Umphrey?s McGee sold out shows in theaters coast to coast, appeared at Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, and made their late night TV debut on ABC?s Jimmy Kimmel Live. In addition, Guitar Player Magazine recently featured the band?s guitarists ? Jake Cinninger and Brendan Bayliss ? on their list of "Best Unsung Guitar Heroes."
Umphrey?s McGee will tour this spring/summer in support of their new release. The list of stops includes a few very special appearances in their hometown of Chicago. The band [were scheduled to] perform the National Anthem at U.S. Cellular Field for the Chicago White Sox home opener on April 2nd[, marking the] third time Umphrey's McGee has sung the National Anthem at U.S. Cellular Field. Later in April, look for the band to headline the city?s inaugural Green Apple Festival. Umphrey?s performed this Earth Day festival last year in New York City, and is honored to now bring the earth-friendly event to their hometown. Umphrey?s will headline the festivities at the Lincoln Park Zoo on April 22nd, in addition to a very special intimate Vic Theatre performance on April 21st. A portion of the proceeds for the show, and 100% of the sales from an exclusive show poster, will be donated to a Chicago environmental organization to be determined.
It has been a quick rise for Chicago?s Umphrey's McGee. Their virtuoso playing and edgy songcraft recently compelled Rolling Stone to choose Umphrey's "a band to watch" in their annual Hot Issue. Relix magazine put them on the cover of their December 2004 issue and the prestigious Chicago Music Awards bestowed upon Umphrey's McGee the coveted Best Rock Entertainer of the Year award. Booked coast to coast by the Monterey Peninsula Booking Agency, the band recently sold out three nights at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom, two nights at Irving Plaza, San Francisco?s Fillmore Auditorium, and the list goes on.