Umphrey’s McGee Release Cover Of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” Featuring Huey Lewis and Saxophonist Jeff Coffin

By Stu Kelly / January 12, 2024

Chicago-based improv-rock veterans Umphrey’s McGee have unleashed a stunning rendition of David Bowie’s classic “Let’s Dance,” featuring the incomparable Huey Lewis on lead vocals and saxophonist Jeff Coffin. The track not only captures the essence of the original but also marks a poignant moment as it became Lewis’s final recording session before health issues halted his iconic singing career. UM continues to captivate audiences with their musical prowess and innovative collaborations, making them a force to be reckoned with in the world of live music.

The cover opens with a flawlessly replicated doo-wop vocal stack, immediately drawing listeners into the nostalgic atmosphere of Bowie’s 1983 hit. What sets this rendition apart is the unexpected addition of Huey Lewis, who lends his distinctive voice to the track. Little did Umphrey’s McGee and Lewis know that this collaboration would become a significant milestone in Lewis’s career, serving as his farewell to the recording studio.

“It was a real thrill to sing this with the Umphrey’s guys,” expressed Lewis. “I have been a fan from the first time I heard them and was keen to join them for this tune.” The history between Huey Lewis and Umphrey’s McGee dates back to 2006 when Lewis first collaborated with the band on their album Safety In Numbers. This latest collaboration adds another chapter to their exciting musical journey together.

Adding to the star-studded ensemble, saxophonist Jeff Coffin, known for his work with Dave Matthews Band and Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, contributes his iconic saxophone touches to this version of “Let’s Dance.” Initially recorded for Howard Stern’s David Bowie Tribute on SiriusXM, the track showcases Coffin’s mastery, enhancing the overall sonic experience.

Umphrey’s McGee guitarist and singer Brendan Bayliss expressed his excitement about collaborating with these legendary musicians. “I still can’t believe that we actually got to collaborate with these two musical powerhouses on one of my favorite David Bowie tunes of all time,” Bayliss exclaimed.

Fans can stream or purchase “Let’s Dance” today at this link and check out Umphrey’s McGee’s latest video from Red Rocks, which premiered on Steven Colbert’s Late Show right here. Check out Umphrey’s McGee Live on Jimmy Kimmel in 2006 (with Huey Lewis) below. 

In addition to this exciting release, Umphrey’s McGee has kicked off their Winter 2024 tour, featuring the grand return of drummer Kris Myers after a period of absence due to rotator cuff surgery and rehabilitation. The tour commenced in Raleigh, North Carolina, and will continue with stints in many acclaimed markets. 

For a complete list of tour dates and ticket information, visit umphreys.com/tour. Get ready to immerse yourself in the magic of Umphrey’s McGee as they bring their unique blend of musical artistry to stages across the country.

Umphrey’s McGee Tour Dates:

  • Jan. 12 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz
  • Jan. 13 – Norfolk, VA – The Norva
  • Jan. 14 – Richmond, VA – The National
  • Jan. 18 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
  • Jan. 19 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
  • Jan. 20 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
  • Jan. 21 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl
  • Jan. 31 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
  • Feb. 1 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
  • Feb. 2 – Columbus, OH – Kemba Live!
  • Feb. 3 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
  • Feb. 7 – Bloomington, IN – Bluebird Nightclub
  • Feb. 8 – Knoxville, TN – The Mill & Mine
  • Feb. 9 – Newport, KY – Megacorp Pavillion
  • Feb. 10 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
  • Feb. 14 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
  • Feb. 15 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
  • Feb. 16 – Philadelphia, PA – Brooklyn Bowl 
  • Feb. 17 – Philadelphia, PA – Brooklyn Bowl
  • Feb. 18 – Jim Thorpe, PA – Penn’s Peak
  • Mar. 8 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up Aspen
  • Mar. 9 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up Aspen
  • Mar. 10 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up Aspen
  • Mar. 14 – Eugene, OR – McDonald Theatre
  • Mar. 15 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
  • Mar. 16 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
  • Mar. 17 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox @ The Market
  • Mar. 21 – Stateline, NV – Harrah’s Lake Tahoe
  • Mar. 22 – San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
  • Mar. 23 – Los Angeles, CA – The Bellwether
  • Mar. 24 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory North Park
  • Apr. 24 – South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
  • Apr. 25 – South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
  • Apr. 26 – Boston, MA – UMBowl at House of Blues
  • Apr. 27 – Boston, MA – UMBowl at House of Blues
About the author

Stu Kelly