The Upful LIFE Podcast- ep.060: JOEL CUMMINS [co-founder/keyboards – Umphrey’s McGee, author]


Checking in from the Asking For A Friend Tour, Umphrey’s McGee keyboardist/co-founder JOEL CUMMINS saddles up for an insightful chat. I was lucky to run right into Joel at Sacred Rose outside of Chicago at the end of August, where UM headlined with two sets on Saturday night. Turns out the multi-faceted artist was keen to come on this show! I’m a bit less familiar with this band’s catalog than many of the guests who bless up these podwaves, yet I’ve always been friendly with Joel over the past decade or so. I have a tremendous respect for what he – and his brothers in Umphrey’s McGee – have worked so diligently (and independently) to build over the course of twenty-five years.

  • 2:45    – The Upful Update
  • 7:00    – Introducing JOEL CUMMINS of Umphrey’s McGee
  • 14:00 – Interview- JOEL CUMMINS

I was stoked to link up with Cummins right after Sacred Rose, and chop it up on the backstory on his band’s new album and the latest on the tour behind it. We get into Umphrey’s McGee road-dawg trends and preferences, the advantages to routing weekend runs, keeping an improv band fresh and focused onstage, getting along off of it. We hear about the music business book that Joel authored a couple of years ago, plus some wisdom and perspective on the back end of the pandemic experience.

Cummins touches on his passion for the iconic Fender Rhodes electric piano. Nods to Keith Jarrett, Donny Hathaway, his love for Claude Debussy and classical music, as well as Metallica’s 1988 prog-metal masterpiece …And Justice For All. I was sure to sneak in a smidge of Steely Dan debate before our time ran out. Big thanks to Joel Cummins!


Vibe Junkie JAMZ

“So Much” Umphrey’s McGee – Asking For a Friend


“Tonberry” lespecial Live from Rick’s House June 2022


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Theme Song: “Mazel Tov”– CALVIN VALENTINE