Today marks the 12th anniversary of Widespread Panic namesake and founding member Michael Houser's passing.
Houser left the road following a July 2, 2002 show in Cedar Rapids, IA that
can be streamed at PanicStream. We wanted to honor Mikey by presenting a
JamBase List featuring ten great videos from Widespread Panic's Houser Era.
1. Airplane (1994 Music Video):
Mikey wrote and sang lead on this single off 1994′s Ain’t Life Grand.
considered such a quintessential Houser song by the band that they waited over four years
bust it out after his passing.
2. Space Wrangler (Live On Austin City Limits - 2000)
Whether you loved it or hated it, Houser had a distinctive sound that isn’t easily
replicated – just ask George McConnell. Mikey’s tone is the centerpiece of "Space
Wrangler" and this is a terrific version Panic recorded for Austin City Limits in
3. The Waker (Live at Red Rocks - 2002)
One of the Mikey tunes that Panic hasn't played since his passing is "The Waker."
Houser wrote this song for his son Waker and this tear-inducing clip (watch JB stare at
his band mate towards the start of tune) was recorded at one of the last shows the
guitarist played with Panic before he passed less than two months later.
4. Postcard (Live In Athens - 1993)
Many of the tunes on Houser's solo albums are sweet and gentle but Mikey knew how
to rock with the best of 'em as you can see from this clip of "Postcard" from New Year's
5. Tall Boy + Testify (Live at Bonnaroo 2002)
During Mikey's last tour with the band in 2002, Widespread was one of the headliners of
the first Bonnaroo festival. They invited gospel legend Dottie Peoples and The People's
Choice Choir to join them for a "Tall Boy" sandwich complete with "Testify" filling.
6. Vacation (Live Sit N Ski 1996)
Mikey was a master of the volume pedal but he used it so often that he eventually had
problems with his legs going numb. For their “Sit N’ Ski” tour in 1996
the members of Widespread Panic sat down during the acoustic segments. Houser felt so much
more comfortable sitting while playing that he eventually just started sitting down for
every performance. This is a clip of a gorgeous "Vacation" featuring David Blackmon on
fiddle from that tour.
7. Ain't Life Grand (Live - 1997)
Ever since Widespread debuted "Ain't Life Grand" in 1993 it has been a staple of their
sets with no more than seven shows passing without the band performing the tune until
Houser's passing. Above, we've got a typically high-energy version from 1997.
8. Walkin'[For Your Love] (Live in Athens - 1991)
Billy Bob Thornton directed a live Widespread Panic concert film at the Georgia Theatre
in 1991 and above is one of the clips from that film that made it onto YouTube. You'll
notice Mikey standing, T. Lavitz on keys and a youthful JB playing a strat.
9. Porch Song (Live in Atlanta - 2001)
Houser's voice is front and center on another of the band's signature tunes - "Porch
Song." This clip was recorded at the Philips Arena on December 31, 2001 - Mikey's last New
10. Happy Child (Live At Red Rocks - 2000)
We end with a short and sweet instrumental, "Happy Child," that Houser leads the band
through at Red Rocks ’00. R.I.P. Mikey.