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Widespread Panic

One of the many neo-hippie jam bands inheriting the road-warrior mantle left behind by the Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic established a devout grassroots following on the strength of constant touring and a loose, rootsy brand of Southern rock informed by jazz and blues textures. The group's origins date to 1982, when vocalist John Bell and guitarist Mike Houser first began playing together while attending college in Athens, Georgia. When bassist Dave Schools left academia to join the duo the next year, Widespread Panic were officially born. The band recorded its debut single, "Coconut Image," in 1986; drummer Todd Nance joined soon after, followed by the addition of percussionist Domingo "Sunny" Ortiz and finally keyboardist John "JoJo" Hermann.

Widespread Panic released their energetic debut LP, Space Wrangler, in 1988 on the tiny Landslide label. After several years of relentless touring, they signed to major label Capricorn, which issued the group's eponymously titled sophomore effort in 1991. Appearances on the 1992 and 1993 H.O.R.D.E. tours greatly expanded their fan base prior to 1993's Everyday, while 1994's Ain't Life Grand spawned the AOR hits "Airplane" and "Can't Get High." After teaming with fellow Georgian Vic Chesnutt to record 1995's Nine High a Pallet under the name Brute, Widespread Panic reconvened for the album Bombs and Butterflies, released in 1997. In the spring of 1998, the band released Light Fuse, Get Away, and 'Til the Medicine Takes followed a year later. Another Joyous Occasion (2000) and Don't Tell the Band (2001) marked the band's first albums of the new millennium. In June 2002, Widespread Panic returned to the road for their annual summer tour of the States, but within a month, founding member and lead guitarist Michael Houser had to bow out. Houser was battling cancer and returned home to Athens, Georgia, to rest while guitarist George McConnell stepped in to finish the tour. On August 10, 2002, Houser succumbed to complications from pancreatic cancer at the age of 40.

Houser's wish was that the band would carry on after his passing, and with McConnell becoming a permanent replacement, Widespread Panic did just that. Their next full-length album, Ball, was released in April of 2003. Night of Joy and Über Cobra, both of which appeared in late March 2004, featured live selections from two of the band's shows at The House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, while they toured in support of Ball. These marked Widespread Panic's second and third live efforts, follow-ups up to 2000's Another Joyous Occasion. They returned to the studio later that year for the Halloween-themed covers record Jackassolantern, and again in 2006 for Earth to America. Free Somehow, the band's tenth studio album (and first with newcomer guitarist Jimmy Herring), followed in early 2008, with Dirty Side Down appearing in 2010; it was followed by the in-concert set Live in the Classic City II in the fall. In 2012 the band released Wood, a double live collection culled from the group's first ever all-acoustic tour. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

110 shows without Houser makes me want to cry.
CHILLY WATER
Don't know why it didn't post my whole comment
Ever since my first show in 2002, I have seen them around 110 times, and every single show, I have had a blast. I think everyone should see Panic at least once in their life. Even if you aren't into their music, the atmosphere alone is about as good as it gets. Plus, even if its your first show and you aren't familiar with their song catalogue, there is a good chance that they will cover a song that you know. Another great thing about this band is how they have introduced me to other bands/m
This is really great music.
I'm a Georgia Native and have been listening for years, can't wait to see them at LOCKN!
artbycourtne y d
2001 Oak Mountain...e n o u g h said
Bring on Augusta. Wsmfp
Chattanooga 3 days stoked. This will be show 26. Best show Halloween 3 day show Las Vegas
rusted77
chilly water rain stay away this year please...... . .
rusted77
Raleigh..... . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 days to go.......... . .
I was just about to comment on that. LOL
neo-hippie? LOL. Labeling them as such is a disservice.
agreed on first bonnaroo. what a great time.
worldwidehip p i e s
Miss You Mr Houser,First Bonnaroo Was Great.Red Rocks Is Always On Jam.
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. However if you don't read this you will die in two days. Now that you've started reading this don't stop. This is so scary. Put this on five songs in the next 143 min. when your done press F6 an your lovers name will pop up on your screen in big letters. Trust me it works.
My wife's got the blues
Gonna bring her a kiss
Make those blues run
Panic is awesome, at top of my bucket list to see in 2014. Chilly Water an incredible jam. Blend of instruments along with Bell's vocals put this band near the top.
no mention of the self-titled album, thats the one that got me hooked, IM A ROCK ON MY BELLY LYIN IN THE BOTTOM OF A POOL, enough said...
Yesterday was the 28th anniversary of Todd Nance playing with the band for the first time. WSP was born 2-6-86! Happy B-day WSP!
No, I can't stand it, no.
This morning, 6 pack of stout and a stick of sensie...
tres. tres. tres.
TRES!
onealn6
Lead guitairist reminds me of Ron Pennington
so super sick!!! love how its so sexy and raw..jimmy herring is a wizzard..all about it!! dope a** s**t!
used to know where i waS GOIN
used to ride the highway...
but now this shady dirt road is feelin cool beneath my feet..
en la playa tres???
all about it!! Feel like im cheating on jerry a lil but panic people show up w their own s**t!! love it!! keep your shiny side up and your dirty side down
Word to ffc, agreed.
There is no better band touring or making music today
I use to ride the highway,
I use to know where I goin'...

Aw, hell yeah!
Apropos of my comment below, Traveling Light takes me down a road into a past of a packed Burgess Hall 3rd floor room, full of smoke, Weinhard beer varieties, and friendly drunken recriminatio n s about the last call the President made in a game of A**hole.
Loved the Asheville show two weekends ago a great time
ladymercey
Everyday is definately one of my top 10 albums of all time!
Lol- people complaining about bios.

Panic @ Red Rocks, nothing compares.
Don't know what's better... The music, live and mostly on stereo in garages and dorm rooms, or the memories that accompany it.
Panic is one of the most well run organization s and succesful touring bands in the music industry.... t h e y could mention that in the bio instead of throwing around pointless monikers like Neo Hippie. Panic has been the soundtrack of my life for over 20 years now. Thanks guys for all the good times I've had while listening or playing your music. Love and Respect!
I've listened to Widespread Panic for as long as I can remember. It's a band my whole family loves. I've grown up listening to it, and I can name any song. My favorite is All Time Low.
first song recorded was sleepy monkey
Jimmy is in the bio, ever so briefly. Agree, he fits much better than george. Obviously Mikey is the best, too bad Sam Holt did not play more, he sounds eerily like Mikey. And bobnitwit, they are anything but mediocre. They are the best live act over the last two decades. You have obviously never seen them.
I like how they dont even mention jimmy. Lol george is alright but to leave out jimmy from the bio should be a sin
Came through my town a few years back. Didn't know who they were and blew it off. A MISTAKE THAT WON'T HAPPEN TWICE!
I think Brown Cat and the band should just write there own bios lest we get tons people with ridiculous stories about Mikeys illness./
They should come to Maui..... Would you get panicked in Maui??
katzdefender
This freaked me out This isn't fake. Apparently, if you copy and paste this on ten comments in the next ten minutes, you will have the best day of your life tomorrow. You will either get kissed or asked out, if you break this chain you will see a little dead girl in your room tonight. In the next 53 minutes someone will say I love you or I'm sorry This freaked me out This isn't fake. Apparently, if you copy and paste this on ten comments in the next ten minutes, you will have the best day of yo
They are quite mediocre
What the hell is a neo-hippie band?
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