Penn’s Peak, in Jim Thorpe, will welcome back Umphrey’s McGee at 8 p.m. Jan. 22.
After more than 18 years of performing over 100 concerts annually, releasing nine studio albums and selling more than 4.2 million tracks online, this band might be forgiven if they chose to rest on their laurels.
But then that wouldn’t be consistent with the work ethic demonstrated by band members Brendan Bayliss, guitar and vocals; Jake Cinninger, guitar and vocals; Joel Cummins, keyboard, piano and vocals; Andy Farag, percussion; Kris Myers, drums and vocals; and Ryan Stasik, bass.
The original band formed on the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Indiana, in 1997. After releasing its eighth studio album, “Similar Skin,” the first for their own indie label, Nothing Too Fancy (N2F) Music, the group continued to push the envelope and test the limits.
“The London Session” was a dream come true for the members, having been recorded at the legendary Studio Two at historic Abbey Road. The stealth recording session yielded 10 tracks in a single day, proving once again, the prolific UM waits for no one.
Finding themselves in London for three shows at the Brooklyn Bowl in June 2014, the idea of recording at Abbey Road was first proposed by Umphrey’s producer Manny Sanchez, a notion, as Bayliss recently told Rolling Stone that seemed as likely as “being asked to give a sermon at the Vatican.”
“It wasn’t a goal,” he said, “because it never seemed like a possibility.”
But never to be bound by what seems possible, UM secured a coveted day at the world’s most famous recording studio and dove in headfirst.
Twelve hours after first setting foot in Abbey Road Studios, just before midnight, Umphrey’s McGee left the historic room with their own new album, “The London Session.”
As a follow up to The London Session, the envelope pushing continues with the November release of “Zonkey.”
Despite attempts at categorizing UM, the band has devoted its craft to making their followers feel as if they are part of something larger, through such technology-fueled innovations as fan-curated sets, the immersive high-end audio offering, “Headphones & Snowcones,” where the pristine sound of the live soundboard mix is piped wirelessly through high-end personal monitor systems and headphones, as well as making every live show since 2005 available via their live music portal UMLive.net.
UM was also the first group to launch its own single-artist streaming service.
Umphrey’s McGee is more than just a rock band — through nearly two decades, it has proved to be on the cutting-edge of both music and technology, super-serving fans through a community that stretches from the campus of Notre Dame to the hallowed halls of Abbey Road.
What else is coming up at the Peak?
• Jan. 22, An Evening with Umphrey’s McGee, 8 p.m.
• Jan. 26, Greensky Bluegrass, 8 p.m.
• Jan. 27, Satisfaction — The International Rolling Stones Show, 8 p.m.
• Feb. 2, moe, 8 p.m.
• Feb. 3, Voyage #1, Journey Tribute Band Featuring Hugo, 8 p.m.
• Feb. 25, Bruce in the USA, 8 p.m.
• Feb. 28, ZZ Top, 8 p.m.
• March 11, Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx, 8 p.m.
• March 18, The Zombies — Odessey and Oracle 50th Anniversary
Tickets are available at Ticketmaster outlets, the Penn’s Peak Box Office and Roadies Restaurant.
For more information visit www.pennspeak.com or call 866-605-7325.