Umphrey’s McGee Dedicates ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ To Jeff Austin

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Umphrey’s McGee shared pro-shot video of their bust out cover of The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends” featuring members of Turkuaz. The performance at Red Rocks on Saturday was dedicated to Jeff Austin, who died on Monday at the age of 45.

UM was joined by Turkuaz trumpeter Chris Brouwers, saxophonists Greg Sanderson and Josh Schwartz and vocalists Shira Elias and Sammi Garett on their first performance of The Beatles classic since December 31, 2008, a span of 1,088 shows between plays. Prior to its start, guitarist Brendan Bayliss — Austin’s 30db band mate — dedicated the song to Jeff. Today, Bayliss posted a message about Austin, it reads:

I’m not sure that I can say anything about Jeff that he hasn’t already said himself. He was a talker. And a really funny one at that. If you ever saw him perform, then you already got to know him. There was no act, what you saw and heard was honest and real… and raw.

Basically, he was just like a giant tidal wave… a genuine force of nature that you simply could not ignore. Either you get on board and enjoy the ride, or get out of the way cause he’ll knock you over before you even knew what hit you. I have seen him move mountains with his voice, his mandolin, his songs, his wit, and his boundless energy.

Every time I went on stage with him I knew it was gonna be good and I was gonna be fine. He’d often remind me that his back hurt from having to carry me on his shoulders for the whole show. I know he would have taken a bullet for me, stood right back up and gotten back to the punch line… and up until last night I thought he was invincible. I’m still in shock.

I know I will never ever meet anyone like Jeff again, and the world will never know anyone like Jeff again. And that is what makes me cry at random times – the realization that I don’t get to have one more hug, one more laugh, I know we all could use just one more.

I wish I had words of comfort, but I don’t. It’s really just tragic. His family needs all the prayers you can spare. He loved them more than they will ever know.

I look forward to telling his kids all about him when they are old enough to understand what an amazing human being he really was.

Listen to his music. Turn it up. Sing along. Celebrate his life. Tell the stories and keep the memories alive. I’ll share some more music and photos and stories once I have the courage to comb through the pile.

So, hug your loved ones a few extra times tonight and every day.

I miss you, Jeff. I’d give anything to have one more minute with you in this world.

-Brendan

Follow this link to donate to Jeff Austin’s Sweat Relief Musician’s Fund. Watch Umphrey’ McGee and members of Turkuaz honor Jeff Austin at Red Rocks below:

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