Guests Galore At Sea: Umphrey’s McGee Welcomes Mike Dillon, Kanika Moore & More On Jam Cruise 19

Little Stranger, Andee Avila (Andy Frasco) and Rory Dolan (lespecial) also sat-in with the band on the final day of the trip.

By Scott Bernstein Feb 14, 2023 1:11 pm PST

Umphrey’s McGee helped close out Jam Cruise 19 with a memorable guest-filled set on Saturday night. The sextet was joined by Little Stranger, lespecial drummer Rory Dolan, Andy Frasco & The U.N. drummer Andee Avila, Doom Flamingo vocalist Kanika Moore and percussionist Mike Dillon for collaborations over the course of their second Pool Deck set aboard the MSC Divina.

On Friday, the sextet featuring guitarists Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger, keyboardist Joel Cummins, bassist Ryan Stasik, percussionist Andy Farag and drummer Kris Myers went sans guests and stuck solely to originals for a late-night show on the Pool Deck. Highlights included extended versions of classics “Wappy Sprayberry,” “In The Kitchen” and “JaJunk.”

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Umphrey’s McGee took an alternate path less than 24 hours later for a rare second performance on the Pool Deck. The band spread its improvisational wings immediately by opening with a 17-minute “Plunger.” An old school “bounce back” jam was fit in the middle of a “Plunger” that saw Cinninger fiercely shred throughout. Instrumental “Day Nurse” emerged out of “Plunger” propelled by Myers’ dynamic groove. “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Andy Frasco’s birthday party,” Bayliss said after the song before adding, “This song is about getting fucked up with your friends” to intro the beloved “40’s Theme.”

Saturday’s “40’s Theme” included Bayliss’ strongest solo of the trip as he strung together one incredible riff after another while the band vamped underneath him. Umphrey’s brought out Charleston-based hip-hop duo Little Stranger in the middle of the ensuing “Push The Pig.” Kevin Shields and John Shields freestyle rapped for a few minutes in what turned out to be a perfect showcase of their skills on the mic. Next up was “Small Strides,” a standout track from the group’s latest studio album, Asking For A Friend.

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Kris Myers then welcomed lespecial drummer Rory Dolan to the stage. Dolan held down Kris’ spot on the kit for the bulk of a nasty “1348.” The Mantis gem featured a drum trip in which Myers joined Farag on percussion while the pair grooved with Dolan on drums. Kris returned to his regular seat and replaced Dolan to conclude “1348.”

Ryan Stasik was the only member of Umphrey’s who was on Jam Cruise 19 for all six days. After “1348” he took a moment to address the audience. “I’ve been on this boat the whole week and I forgot how much I loved seeing all of you and all of my friends make music,” Stasik told the crowd. “It’s such a beautiful, beautiful thing. We want to bring to the stage Kanika Moore from Doom Flaming and South Carolina — where I’m residing now — to make more beautiful music for you.” Moore then fronted UM on a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” in a reprise of a collaboration from January 28 in Detroit. The “Queen Of Jam Cruise” didn’t disappoint as she crushed the vocals on the Pablo Honey hit.

The set moved on following Kanika’s appearance with another Asking For A Friend gem, “Escape Goat,” which was impressively extended with full-band improvisation before giving way to “The Linear.” Acclaimed percussionist Mike Dillon accompanied Kris Myers on percussion for both “The Linear” and the “Glory” that followed. The set’s second stellar drum/percussion segment came just before a particularly cool transition into the fan-favorite instrumental. Umphrey’s gently vamped on “Glory” at a smooth and delicate pace and then picked up to the normal tempo in time for Jake Cinninger’s euphoric and raging solo.

The band then said farewell to Mike D. Brendan Bayliss brought out birthday boy Andy Frasco to stand with him as he led the crowd through “Happy Birthday To You.” Umphrey’s McGee went on to cap their Pool Deck set with an adventurous “Bridgeless.” Stay tuned for more from Jam Cruise 19.

Check out fan-shot video of “Creep” and clips of the guest spots below:


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Umphrey’s McGee (See 844 videos) and Kanika Moore (See 16 videos)
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Official Audio (via nugs.net)

Setlist (via All Things Umphrey’s)

Set: Plunger > Day Nurse, 40’s Theme, Push the Pig[1] > Small Strides, 1348[2], Creep[3], Escape Goat > The Linear[4]-> Glory[5], Bridgeless

  • [1] with Little Stranger rapping
  • [2] with Rory Dolan replacing Kris on drums; also with Andee Avila on percussion
  • [3] with Kanika Moore on vocals
  • [4] with Mike Dillon on percussion; with Wappy Sprayberry jam
  • [5] with Mike Dillon on percussion
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