Today’s New Albums: Umphrey’s McGee, Tedeschi Trucks Band & ‘Minions’ Soundtrack

Stream these new releases over the Fourth Of July Weekend.

By Team JamBase Jul 1, 2022 6:18 am PDT

Each week Release Day Picks profiles new LPs and EPs Team JamBase will be checking out on release day Friday. This week we highlight new albums by Umphrey’s McGee, Tedeschi Trucks Band and the soundtrack to the new Minions film. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.

Umphrey’s McGee – Asking For A Friend

Asking For A Friend is Umphrey’s McGee’s 14th studio album, which they released today on their Nothing Too Fancy Music label. The new LP follows UM’s 2021 instrumental album Your Boots But You Stood Tall & Left A Raging Bull and was recorded over the past two and half years at sessions held in Nashville, Chicago and Niles, Michigan. Best known for their live performances, UM has only played four of the album’s 14 tracks in concert, having brought the singles “I Don’t Know What I Want,” “Small Strides,” “New Wings” and “So Much” to the stage. Umphrey’s McGee guitarist Brendan Bayliss was a recent guest on The JamBase Podcast and spoke at length about the making of Asking For A Friend. Bayliss discussed the evolution of the band’s approach to songwriting over the course of their two-decades-long career, telling JamBase:

I think every time we go into a studio setting [focusing on songwriting] slowly has become more and more of the whole point. Initially, when we were starting, we were trying to prove that we could play as many notes as possible and do acrobatic things – not making necessarily the choice that would serve a song. It would more serve a display of our potential.

Over time, we started to see the studio as the opportunity to develop and craft an actual song, albeit three minutes or whatever it is, and the stage is the place to play with it. This time around, we basically started with a pile of – I don’t know how many [songs] and kind of went through it, and through it, and through it, and narrowed everything down to the top 15 that we got to. And we basically treated each one as its own entity.

Tedeschi Trucks Band – I Am The Moon: II

Tedeschi Trucks Band rolled out I Am The Moon: II. Ascension today via Fantasy Records. The seven-song collection is the second in a series of four new albums that are part of the project. Each chapter comes with an accompanying film put together by Alix Lambert. Derek Trucks produced I Am The Moon with longtime studio engineer Bobby Tis handling recording and mixing duties. The 12-piece band recorded the four albums at Derek and Susan Tedeschi’s Swamp Raga facility in Jacksonville, Florida. I Am The Moon: I. Crescent arrived on June 3 with III. The Fall due on July 29 and IV. Farewell coming on August 26. Journalist David Fricke detailed the collection in his bio notes:

Ascension – the second record in I Am The Moon is rightly named. From the opening Memphis-soul churn of ‘Playing With My Emotions,’ to the country-church stomp ‘So Long Savior’ and the exhilarating slide-guitar climax ‘Hold That Line,’ Ascension continues the unique fusion of ancient narrative and highly personal reflection in I Am The Moon with the urge to soar that is second nature to the best rock & roll big band in America.”

Various Artists – Minions: The Rise Of Gru Soundtrack

Jack Antonoff produced the all-star soundtrack for the new animated feature film, Minions: The Rise Of Gru. The soundtrack features the long-awaited collaboration between Tame Impala and Diana Ross on the new original song “Turn Up The Sunshine.” Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA also recorded an original composition for the film, “Kung Fu Suite.” Others contributed covers of 1970s classics, including Thundercat on Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like An Eagle,” St. Vincent doing Lipps Inc.’s “Funkytown,” Phoebe Bridgers covering The Carpenters’ “Goodbye to Love,” Antonoff and his band Bleachers covering John Lennon’s “Instant Karma,” currently on hiatus hip hop group Brockhampton taking on Kool & The Gang’s “Hollywood Swinging,” Brittany Howard delivering Earth Wind & Fire’s “Shining Star” with EWF’s Verdine White, and Gary Clark Jr. covering The Ides Of March’s “Vehicle.”

Compiled by Scott Bernstein and Andy Kahn.

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