Umphrey's McGee's new single hits all the right notes

Ride On Pony, a live show fan-favorite since 2009, is now a single. You're welcome.

 

“This song goes back almost to pre-adolescence,” says Umphrey’s guitarist, Jake Cinninger. “It harkens back to the days of those mixed-up feelings and trying to cut loose, a teenage daydream.”

Fresh from their inaugural Woodlands Music and Arts Festival in Charleston, SC — a virtual love letter to the city they call home — and gearing up for their first annual Rockjavik event in Reykjavik, Iceland, world-renowned improv-rockers Umphrey’s McGee are releasing new music. Earlier this year, on a show day in New Haven, CT, the band found themselves recording a studio version of live show fan-favorite, “Ride On Pony,” at Telefunken Recording Studio. First played live on April 5th, 2009, and written by guitarist Jake Cinninger a dozen years before that, this recording is the first official release of the country-tinged, Bob Seger-inspired tune. Rolling Stone Country featured “Ride On Pony,” calling it “nostalgic country-rock,” and making mention of the “earnest acoustic strumming uplifted by arena-ready distortion-soaked chords and anthemic organ swells."   

“It’s all real...no joke, about the feel of being a teenager,” says Cinninger. “We tried to recapture some of those magical years gone past for everyone that listens.”

“Ride On Pony” opens with the lines, “Looking back on my life when it was cool to be young. Beer in the back of pickup trucks and sack of clovers just to press the luck. Laughs and jokes until morning comes up.” “This song goes back almost to pre-adolescence,” says Umphrey’s guitarist, Jake Cinninger. “It harkens back to the days of those mixed-up feelings and trying to cut loose, a teenage daydream.”

Opening with a beautiful juxtaposition of strummed acoustic guitar and big, dirty power chords, “Ride On Pony” settles into a familiar 6/8 time feel, with tastefully picked guitar flourishes playing counterpoint to each heartfelt line of the lyric. The bridge brings a more familiar Umphrey’s McGee dual-guitar attack, satisfying even their oldest of fans before settling back into the last verse and chorus. “It’s all real...no joke, about the feel of being a teenager,” says Cinninger. “We tried to recapture some of those magical years gone past for everyone that listens.”

In usual band fashion, they'll finish out 2019 with a four-night New Year’s run, this year at Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium. Kicking off 2020, they'll headline two nights at New York’s famed Beacon Theatre with stops at Penn’s Peak, The Fillmore Detroit, The Caverns in Pelham, TN, and the ExploreAshville.com Arena rounding out January and February before heading west for the remainder of February and March. Their sold-out Rockjavik shows at Eldborg Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland, mark the first of their kind for the band, and fans lucky enough to get tickets couldn’t be more excited.

Stay tuned to Umphreys.com for details on future single releases and new tour dates. 

Umphrey’s McGee Tour Dates:

Dec. 27 - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium

Dec. 28 - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium

Dec. 30 - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium

Dec. 31 - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium

Jan. 17 - New York, NY - The Beacon Theatre

Jan. 18 - New York, NY - The Beacon Theatre

Jan. 19 - Brooklyn, NY - The Brooklyn Bowl

Jan. 23 - Jim Thorpe, PA - Penn’s Peak

Jan. 24 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE

Jan. 25 - Columbus, OH - Express! Live

Jan. 29 - Ft. Wayne, IN - The Clyde Theater

Jan. 30 - Northfield, OH - MGM Northfield Park

Jan. 31 - Detroit, MI - The Fillmore Detroit

Feb. 1 - Detroit, MI - The Fillmore Detroit

Feb. 12 - Memphis, TN - Graceland Soundstage

Feb. 13 - Pelham, TN - The Caverns

Feb. 14 - Asheville, NC - ExploreAsheville.com Arena

Feb. 15 - Asheville, NC - ExploreAsheville.com Arena

Feb. 26 - Bend, OR - Midtown Ballroom

Feb. 27 - Eugene, OR - McDonald Theatre

Feb. 28 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom

Feb. 29 - Seattle, WA - Showbox SoDo

Mar. 12 - San Diego, CA - The Observatory North Park

Mar. 13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern

Mar. 14 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theatre

Mar. 15 - San Rafael, CA - Terrapin Crossroads

Mar. 20 - Reykjavik, Iceland - Rockjavik

Mar. 21 - Reykjavik, Iceland - Rockjavik

Mar. 22 - Reykjavik, Iceland - Rockjavik

Apr. 2 - Kansas City, KS - The Truman

Apr. 3 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant

Apr. 4 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant

Apr. 5 - South Bend, IN - Morris Performing Arts Center

Apr. 16 - Houston, TX - House of Blues Houston 

Apr. 17 - Austin, TX - Stubb’s BBQ

Apr. 18 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues Dallas

Apr. 19 - Tulsa, OK - Cain’s Ballroom

Apr. 24 - New Orleans, LA - The Fillmore New Orleans

Apr. 25 - New Orleans, LA - The Fillmore New Orleans

Jul. 2-5 - Scranton, PA - The Peach Music Festival

About the band:

Umphrey’s McGee's music unfolds like an unpredictable conversation between longtime friends. Its six participants — Brendan Bayliss [guitar, vocals], Jake Cinninger [guitar, vocals], Joel Cummins [keyboards, piano, vocals], Andy Farag [percussion], Kris Myers [drums, vocals], and Ryan Stasik [bass] — know just how to communicate with each other on stage and in the studio. A call of progressive guitar wizardry might elicit a response of soft acoustic balladry, or a funk groove could be answered by explosive percussion. At any moment, heavy guitars can give way to heavier blues as the boys uncover the elusive nexus between jaw-dropping instrumental virtuosity and airtight songcraft.

As a touring powerhouse, they perform 85+ shows per year, headlining annual shows across the US including Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, and the Beacon Theatre in New York. The band is a constant US festival staple, with performances at major events including Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Rothbury, and Bonnaroo, as well as international festivals Fuji Rock Festival (Japan) and Byron Bay Bluesfest (Australia).