Sat Eye Candy: Michael Houser


A master of understatement and nuance, Widespread Panic's "silent genius" Michael Houser could also tear things up with the best of them. It was the thoughtful way he chose to bust out, exploding and whispering in all the right places, enlivening WSP's music in ways that only he could hear yet once experienced quickly became cemented as THE way things should be done. This past Tuesday, August 10th, marked the 8th anniversary of Houser's passing. While his band has survived and even thrived in recent years, his ghost is never far from where Widespread Panic plays. It's a friendly ghost to be sure, and it's hard to think of him without smiling. We offer this selection of Mikey moments in remembrance of him and in celebration of the tremendous creative legacy he left behind. (Dennis Cook)

We begin with one of the standout moments in Panic history: the band's collaboration with Dottie Peoples and The People's Choice Choir at Bonnaroo in 2002 on what would be Houser's final tour.

We jump back to Halloween of 2000 for some sinewy barroom gold. His guitar snakes around one in such a cool way on this tune.

Mikey didn't always sit down onstage!

1997 was a magical year for Panic.

There was an unforced elegance to Houser's playing that comes through loud 'n' clear here.

Pure nasty goodness. Dig the smile on Mikey's face at the start of this run.

We end with two friends making music together. It's this kernel from which the rest arises.

[Published on: 8/14/10]

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