Widespread Panic: King of the Jam

fromWXPN

Set List

  • "Second Skin"
  • "Ribs and Whiskey"
Widespread Panic.

Widespread Panic. hide caption

itoggle caption

While countless bands have tried to claim the throne left vacant by The Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic has made a strong case for itself. Its rootsy Southern jam-rock, informed by jazz and blues idioms, lends it credibility, but the music would be nothing without the musicianship and virtuosity that holds it together. Add to the mix a strong ear for melody within an improvisational setting, and the result is consistently powerful.

Formed in 1982, while its founding members were attending college in Georgia, Widespread Panic released its first full-length album, Space Wrangler, in 1988. The disc's promise, matched with a relentless touring schedule, helped to land the band a deal with a major label for its self-titled 1991 release. Subsequent records and tours helped to expand its fan base; "Airplane" and "Can't Get High," from 1994's Ain't Life Grand, even scored Widespread Panic its first hits.

On their newest release, Earth to America, the group members go even further toward tightening and focusing the most engaging aspects of their sound while jettisoning excess musical baggage. Though it retains Widespread Panic's improvisational sensibility, the album finds the band distilling its grooves to their essence, especially on the dense, 11-minute opener, "Second Skin."

Purchase Featured Music

Earth to America

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Album
Earth to America
Artist
Widespread Panic

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.