Christmas with Brendan and Jake
Umphrey’s McGee guitarists Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger hosted their annual Acoustic Christmas Show at Chicago’s Park West this past weekend. As in years past, the benefit show featured holiday classics (ranging from “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” to John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”), special covers (The Pogues’ “Dirty Old Town,” Bob Marley’s “Mellow Mood,” CSNY’s “Teach Your Children”), rearranged Umphrey’s originals (“Nothing Too Fancy,” “In the Kitchen”) and unique instrumentation (Cinninger played piano and bass at several points throughout the show while Bayliss tried his hand at mandolin, bass and piano).
Several guests also sat in at various points throughout the show. Umphrey’s McGee percussionist Andy Farag emerged during “Turn and Dub” and remained onstage for most of the duo’s set. Cornmeal fiddler—and Chicago resident—Allie Krall also sat in on “Great American,” “Susanah” and “Dirty Old Town.” Later in the show, Trey Anastasio Band trumpeter Jen Hartswick and Umphrey’s McGee bassist Ryan Stasik both emerged in tandem for a show-closing “Dirty Works.” Jack Straw’s Barry Brown, steel pedal player Mike Rackey and singer Michelle Hallman also sat in at various points throughout the show. A complete setlist is available on Oh Kee Pah blog