At the start of April, the Chicago progressive rock band Umphrey’s McGee will release The London Session. Normally, when session albums are released, their title is in the plural: The Abbey Road Sessions, for instance. However, in Umphrey’s McGee’s case, the singular case is quite deliberate. These reputable prog-jammers had but 12 hours in Abbey Road, meaning that they had to make the absolute most out of a limited timeframe. Save for the vocal tracks, which had to wait until the band’s return to the states (“They are exceptional and efficient, but they are merely mortal after all,” says the album’s press release), these guys recorded a whole LP’s worth of music in those 12 hours. The London Session marks the ninth Umphrey’s McGee studio outing, and it finds these nimble jam-ready musicians playing as sharply as they’ve ever been.
Below you can stream “Bad Friday”, the first song to be released from The London Session.
Guitarist and vocalist Brendan Bayliss tells PopMatters about the tune, “‘Bad Friday’ was an accident that started with my son changing the sound on the keyboard we were playing together. The line that I was developing took on a new direction and then the song just happened.”
The London Session is out on 7 April via Nothing Too Fancy Music. You can pre-order it through the band’s site at this link.