Woohoo! Recently I remarked about a great recording of the band Widespread Panic. Last night we got to experience them live at the Verizon Ampitheatre in Alpharetta, GA. Wow!!
This is a GREAT jam band. There is a cult-like following to this band (almost everyone I talked to asked me how many times had I seen them), and these are musician’s musicians; they are just that good.
The band must have played close to three hours, which apparently is not uncommon for them. This is a working band – playing 150 shows a year.
Members John Bell as singer and rhythm guitar, John “JoJo” Hermann on keyboards, Domingo “Sunny” Ortiz on percussion, Dave Schools on bass, Jimmy Herring on lead guitar, and Duane Trucks on drums put on an absolutely fabulous show.
This is a band with a rich southern rock heritage. The band was founded back in 1986 in Athens, GA with John Bell and Dave Schools, and very shortly added Sunny Ortiz. Jimmy Herring has played with the Allman Brothers Band, the Derek Trucks band, and the Grateful Dead. And you might recognize the drummers’ last name. Duane is the brother of Derek Trucks (Derek Trucks Band), and nephew of Butch Trucks (drummer for the Allman Brothers Band).
Umphree McGee, a Notre Dame-founded jam band, opened the show. They were good – just not great like Widespread Panic.
I should point out we were the oldest people in the audience – by a good 30 years. Oh well; I guess that sort of thing will happen more and more, not less. And don’t be too harsh on the picture quality; cameras with removal lens are not allowed in the venue so most of the pictures were taken on an old iPhone.
Get out and see this band!