Report from the Riverview
Umphreys McGee stuck close to home over the weekend to anchor Chicagos annual Riverview Music Festival. In addition to the Midwest jam-stars, the event featured a number of other site regulars, including the North Mississippi Allstars, Banyan, Tea Leaf Green, Ivan Nevilles Dumpstaphunk, Cornmeal, Brothers Past and the Chicago Afrobeat Project, among others.
As expected, the members of Umphreys McGee brought out a handful of their friends for a series of spirited jams on both Saturday and Sunday. During the groups first set Saturday pedal steel guitarist Mike Rackey and North Mississippi Allstars drummer Cody Dickinson both appeared on Bad Poker, with Dickinson showing off his considerable washboard skills (some readers may remember that at the 2005 Jammy Awards Umphreys McGee drummer Kris Myers filled in for Cody Dickinson behind the kit when he moved to the front of the stage to showoff his washboard chops). Immediately after, North Mississippi Allstars guitarist Luther Dickinson helped Umphreys close its second set with a version of Thin Air. Later in the night, Rackey returned to the stage along with harmonica player Nick Nails Kovach, who has been jamming with Umphreys McGee since shortly after its inception, for a version of Whiskey. Earlier in the day, the North Mississippi Allstars likely earned the days random collaboration award by bringing out a shirtless Aaron Julison, who is best known as the bassist in Kid Rock’s band, for both Bang Bang Lulu and Black Betty.
A number of intriguing sit-ins also took place at Riverview throughout the day Sunday. During Tea Leaf Greens set Brendan Bayliss took the stage for a show closing version of Holiday Road. Though Stephen Perkins was forced to sit out his scheduled performance with Banyan due to personal issues, Steve Kimock invited his longtime collaborator John Molo to fill in behind the kit. A bit later, Willie Waldman, who also performed at with Banyan at the festival, played trumpet on a cover of the Polices Walking On the Moon. Umphreys McGee will support Dave Matthews Band at Bonner Springs, KS Verizon Wireless Amphitheater tomorrow.