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Widespread Panic

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Biography

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. The band never left the road for very long. In 2014, it was announced that drummer Nance needed time away from business as usual to deal with personal matters. Duane Trucks was enlisted to fill in during concerts. When WP eventually decided to record in a studio again, he filled the chair. With Keane as producer, the sextet entered Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, North Carolina. For the first time in their 30-year career, WP recorded live in the studio. Performing new originals and choice covers -- including Alan Price's "Sell Sell," Murray McLauchlan's "Honky Red," and Willie Dixon's "Taildragger" -- Street Dogs was completed and slated for released in 2015. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Can't Get High
  3.   Walkin' (For Your Love)
  4.   North
  5.   Blue Indian
  6.   All Time Low
  7.   Climb to Safety
  8.   One Arm Steve
  9.   Action Man
  10.   Ain't Life Grand
  11.   Chilly Water
  12.   Tall Boy
  13.   Imitation Leather Shoes
  14.   Fishwater
  15.   Pilgrims
  16.   The Waker
  17.   Travelin' Light
  18.   Dirty Side Down
  19.   City of Dreams
  20.   Ride Me High
  21.   Space Wrangler
  22.   Stop and Go
  23.   Sympathy for the Devil
  24.   Use Me
  25.   Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)
  26.   Porch Song
  27.   The Ballad of John & Yoko
  28.   Trouble
  29.   Wondering
  30.   Let's Get the Show on the Road
  31.   Godzilla
  32.   Don't Wanna Lose You
  33.   Surprise Valley
  34.   Many Rivers to Cross
  35.   Dirty Business
  36.   Conrad the Caterpillar
  37.   Peace Frog - Blue Sunday
  38.   Sex Machine
  39.   Can't Find My Way Home
  40.   Bayou Lena
  41.   Sleeping Man
  42.   Down
  43.   Pleas
  44.   Bowlegged Woman
  45.   The Wind Cries Mary
  46.   Walk On
  47.   Old Neighborhood
  48.   Doreatha
  49.   Lilly
  50.   Thought Sausage
  51.   Sometimes
  52.   Nobody's Loss
  53.   Bear's Gone Fishin'
  54.   Pickin' Up the Pieces
  55.   Chest Fever
  56.   Sweet Leaf
  57.   Geraldine & the Honey Bee
  58.   Wonderin'
  59.   Bust It Big
  60.   Worry
  61.   Little Lilly
  62.   Party at Your Mama's House
  63.   Dyin' Man
  64.   Slippin' Into Darkness
  65.   Papa Johnny Road
  66.   Thin Air (Smells Like Mississippi)
  67.   Stop Breakin' Down Blues
  68.   Red Hot Mama
  69.   Time Is Free
  70.   Rock
  71.   I Wish
  72.   Flat Foot Flewzy
  73.   Pleas > Chilly Water
  74.   Mercy
  75.   I'm Not Alone
  76.   Hatfield
  77.   C. Brown
  78.   When You Coming Home
  79.   Cotton Was King
  80.   Clinic Cynic
  81.   Rebirtha
  82.   Blight
  83.   Papa's Home
  84.   True To My Nature
  85.   St. Louis
  86.   Shut Up and Drive
  87.   Arleen
  88.   Henry Parsons Died
  89.   Barstools and Dreamers
  90.   Big Wooly Mammoth
  91.   Jaded Tourist
  92.   Saint Ex
  93.   Jack
  94.   Barstool and Dreamers
  95.   Coconut
  96.   Bust It Big by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
  97.   Expiration Day
  98.   Diner
  99.   Monstrosity
  100.   Contentment Blues
  101.   Proving Ground
  102.   Airplane
  103.   Jamais Vu (The World Has Changed)
  104.   Watching The Sleeping Man
  105.   Second Skin
  106.   Travelin' Man
  107.   Time Waits
  108.   Nebulous
  109.   Meeting of the Waters
  110.   Longer Look
  111.   Counting Train Cars
  112.   Tortured Artist
  113.   Fishing
  114.   Don't Tell the Band
  115.   Give
  116.   The Last Straw
  117.   Weight of the World
  118.   Makes Sense to Me
  119.   Send Your Mind
  120.   Impossible/Jam
  121.   Love Tractor
  122.   Hope in a Hopeless World
  123.   Me and the Devil Blues/Heaven
  124.   Gomero Blanco
  125.   Driving Song
  126.   Stop-Go
  127.   Conrad
  128.   Big Wooly Mammoth/Tears of a Woman
  129.   This Part of Town
  130.   This Cruel Thing
  131.   You'll Be Fine
  132.   Papa Legba
  133.   Old Joe
  134.   Sparks Fly
  135.   And It Stoned Me
  136.   Welcome to My World
  137.   The Poorhouse of Positive Thinking
  138.   Honky Red
  139.   Angels Don't Sing the Blues
  140.   Cease Fire
  141.   Street Dogs for Breakfast
  142.   Just Ain't Easy
  143.   End Of
  144.   Rebirtha by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
  145.   I Wish by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
  146.   Arleen by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
  147.   Old Neighborhood by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
  148.   Bayou Lena by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
  149.   Use Me by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
  150.   Thi