Umphrey’s McGee: The Last Jamband Standing?

Of all the groups to emerge from Phish’s shadow in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, Umphrey’s McGee may have the best chance of saving the jamband scene. Though the group follows the blueprint originally designed by the Grateful Dead in the late ‘60s, both Umphrey’s McGee’s progrock sound and their 21st century approach to marketing and promotions are firmly grounded in the modern musical landscape. Noted critic Richard Gehr spent time with the band and their crew in late 2011 and offers a state of the union on the Chicago-bred sextet on the eve of their 14th anniversary—and argues why Umphrey’s McGee may be the last “classic” jamband standing.

Ani DiFranco: The Curious Case of Ani DiFranco

Politically-charged singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco has toured and recorded at a frenetic pace since she recorded her first demo in Buffalo, N.Y. at the tender age of 15. While some of DiFranco’s oldest fans were surprised when she paused for nearly three years before releasing her latest release, ¿Which Side Are You On?, the album finds DiFranco in fine form looking inward—exploring personal themes of relationships and motherhood—as well as outward in tackling the current political landscape. New Orleans based writer Louis Maistros caught up with DiFranco in her adopted hometown to find out how a Buffalo girl sometimes sees her teenage self smiling back at her from the mirror all these years later.

Dr. Dog: Dirty Analog Dreams

As the principal songwriters and singers for the Philadelphia based band Dr. Dog, guitarist Scott McMicken and bassist Toby Leaman decided to take production duties into their own hands for their latest, Be the Void. While they initially started with a producer, the two made the call to head back to Pennsylvania and hole-up in their own studio, Meth Beach. The group utilized their vast array of dilapidated analog equipment and instruments to deliver what is perhaps—as veteran Philly journalist Tom Moon argues—their most realized album to date.

Plus: The String Cheese Incident, Jaimoe, Galactic, The Yardbirds, The War on Drugs, The Brew, Mitch Ryder and much more!

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