Cinninger: This project has been a labor of love for the past three years now. Cinninger: Yeah, exactly. JamBase: We talked last year and you said that Safety In Numbers was originally going to be a double-album, but in the end the band picked the best minutes of music. What changed? What made the band decide to release The Bottom Half now?
Widely hailed as the improvisational successors of the Grateful Dead and Phish , Umphrey's McGee are nothing of the sort. As the band's detailed liner notes make abundantly clear, their songs are painstakingly composed and meticulously structured, and whatever "improvisation" takes place is far removed from the sometimes aimless noodling of their acid-drenched antecedents. The process is admirably illustrated on Bottom Half , a two-CD compilation of odds and ends that never made the cut on 's breakthrough album Safety in Numbers. The B-sides approach generally suggests inferior material.
Umphrey's McGee The Bottom Half Review Article Contributed by Tim Hurley Published on Tuesday, April 10, Normally I am a little skeptical of artists who release albums that are dubbed "B-sides" or "leftover recording material", because it usually is a feeble attempt to cash in on material that truly is b-grade. However, this is not the case with the release of Umphreys McGee's The Bottom Half, which happens to boast some beautifully written and energetically recorded tracks from the Chicago-based rock outfit. The Bottom Half features a two-disc collection of songs and bonus material that was originally recorded during the sessions of last year's Safety in Numbers album.
This is one of those bands that I always equate to those jam bands like "Phish", "Widespread Panic" and "String Cheese Incident", however their music is a bit more varied than those bands, but they definitely do fit in that style overall. This album, released in April of , is a companion album to their album released previous to this which was "Safety in Numbers". The Safety in Numbers album was completed during a time when a friend of the band died, and by the time of it's release had become quite a somber album.