Episode 25 – Chris Mitchell

Rob updates us on some recent activity in the Bowie world and Seth fills us on the music and other moments unique to One Big Holiday and The Avett Brother’s At The Beach events in Mexico, before they run their interview with one of the most respected sound men in music, Chris Mitchell of Umphrey’s McGee. Mitchell speaks of the band’s dive into surround sound and compares his approaches with those of The Grateful Dead’s long-time front of house sound engineer Dan Healy. We learn how Mitchell’s career began as a sort of courtship, and ultimately moved through a range of festivals and artists (including Tracy Chapman, Kitaro and G. Love + Special Sauce) before his friend Jason Brodsky linked him up with The Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart. We learn about Chris’ days with Mickey, including the challenges of mixing “two dolphins fucking” and why Hart has a reputation for having a short temper. Umphans might be particularly interested to learn about how he ended up with their band. Chris tells of how his uber-collaborative relationship with his predecessor Kevin Browning assisted in his transition and how the two of them remain in close contact, actively focused on improving the Umphrey’s McGee experience. He also gives away a few secrets of how he brings forth some nuanced vocal trickery.