Umphreys McGee and Yonder Mountain String Band spent the summer of 2005 touring together as part of the Big Summer Classic and Brendan Bayliss and Jeff Austin, in particular, have remained close ever since. On Jam Cruise in January the pair offered an acoustic duo set which featured new material, creative covers and choice selections from both Umphreys McGee and Yonder Mountain String Bands canons. On both Friday and Saturday Umphreys McGee and Yonder Mountain String Band offered a night of continuous music, which began with a few acoustic originals songs from Bayliss and Austin. Then, on Friday, near the end of Yonder Mountain String Bands set, the members of Umphreys McGee slowly replaced the members of the bluegrass outfit during Steep Grades, Sharp Curves, which then segued into Jazz Odyssey and, finally, Umphreys McGees Resolution. During Umphreys McGees encore Austin and Yonder Mountain banjoist Dave Johnston both returned to the stage for show closing versions of That’s the Way and Partyin’ Peeps.
The two bands offered a similar stunt a night later at New Hampshires Hampton Beach Casino. At the end of Yonder Mountain String Bands set the members of Umphreys McGee slowly emerged for a jam during King Ebenezer Rap, which then led into another Jazz Odyssey segment and, finally, In the Kitchen. At the end of the night all of Yonder Mountain String Band returned to the stage during Umphreys McGees encore for jams based around the Beatles Baby You’re a Rich Man and Umphreys McGees Great American. Umphreys McGee will appear at Brooklyns McCarren Park pool on August 15, while Yonder Mountain String Band will play Montreal, QCs Cabaret tomorrow.