See Umphrey’s McGee Cover The Allman Brothers Band’s ‘Jessica’ For 1st Time Since 2019

The band devoted the performance of the instrumental at the House Of Blues Dallas to Widespread Panic drummer Duane Trucks.

By Scott Bernstein Apr 24, 2023 10:34 am PDT

Umphrey’s McGee closed out the latest weekend of their 25th Anniversary Tour with a concert at the House Of Blues Dallas on Saturday. The band dug deep into their massive repertoire in ending the night with a rare cover of The Allman Brothers Band instrumental “Jessica.”

Penned by ABB guitarist Dickey Betts, “Jessica” was originally released on the 1973 Allman Brothers Band album, Brothers And Sisters. Umphrey’s McGee debuted their cover of the instrumental on September 25, 1998 during a hometown show at Benchwarmers in South Bend, Indiana. “Jessica” was played frequently by UM through 2000. Umphrey’s McGee has performed 28 renditions of “Jessica” over the past 22 years. Saturday’s encore was their first take on the song since April 4, 2019 — a span of 256 shows.

Umphrey’s McGee was actually supposed to bust out “Jessica” two days earlier in Austin with a special guest. However, the show was canceled due to weather. Drummer Kris Myers explained as the sextet started the instrumental, telling the crowd:

“So, I have a little story here. We were gonna play this one a couple of days ago actually. But we wanted to save it for tonight. But the other night, we were gonna have a good friend Mr. Duane Trucks playing with us. He couldn’t be here tonight. So this one’s in his honor. [We’re] dedicating this one to Duane … my friend Duane. Here we go.”

Widespread Panic drummer Duane Trucks was in Austin this past Thursday on a night off during Panic’s six-show residency at ACL Live at The Moody Theater. Duane’s uncle is the late ABB co-founding drummer Butch Trucks. Umphrey’s McGee keyboardist Joel Cummins previously revealed on Twitter Duane was also set to guest on a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf.”

Watch footage of Umphrey’s breaking out “Jessica” below:

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Umphrey’s McGee (See 818 videos)

Earlier in the night, Umphrey’s opened the Dallas show with the 2023 debuts of oldie “Get In The Van” and it’s you standout “Push & Pull.” The rest of the first set was devoted to a monster “JaJunk” sandwich featuring “Always October,” “The Floor,” “Staircase” and “Slacker” within.

Saturday’s second set began with “Small Strides” and “Hiccups” off the band’s latest studio album, Asking For A Friend, split by “Dump City.” Expansive versions of classics “2×2” and “Wappy Sprayberry” came next. A rare “Kula” followed before Umphrey’s McGee wrapped Saturday’s second set with the beloved old school number “Divisions.” The aforementioned “Jessica” served as the evening’s lone encore. Stream official audio via below:

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Setlist (via All Things Umphrey’s)

Set One: Get In The Van, Push & Pull, JaJunk > Always October, The Floor, Staircase, Slacker > JaJunk

Set Two: Small Strides, Dump City, Hiccup, 2×2, Wappy Sprayberry > Kula, Divisions

Encore: Jessica

Show Notes: last Jessica 2019-04-04 (256 shows)

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