Musical troubadours Widespread Panic announce the release of Night Of Joy on March 23, 2004 (Widespread Records/Sanctuary Records). Known for their legendary live performances, Night Of Joy is compiled from two of their most recent concerts, taped at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, SC on November 6 and 7, 2003. The live CD is both a follow up and companion to Another Joyous Occasion released in 2000, both CD's feature Widespread Panic performing with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band on horns and rhythm.

Night Of Joy features Widespread Panic band members John Bell, John "JoJo" Hermann, Dave Schools, Todd Nance, Domingo "Sunny" Ortiz and newest member George McConnell, along with the eight-man Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

The CD features six original Widespread Panic tunes, along with several covers including Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" and Bill Withers' "Use Me." Widespread Panic favorite, "Bayou Lena" was inspired by the book A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, while "Rebirtha" was written about the Major League Baseball strike. Also notable is "Bust It Big," a relatively new song for Widespread Panic, a mere six months old. Fans are accustomed to hearing the songs transpire over time, as Panic is notorious for playing and working into songs for several years prior to ever recording them.

Photo by John Croxton
2003 was a banner year for Widespread Panic as they continued to sell-out dates across the country, headlined the Bonnaroo Festival, sold out two nights at New York's Madison Square Garden, and set a record at Colorado's famed Red Rocks Amphitheater. Widespread Panic have sold more tickets in that venue than any other band in history, with 21 sold-out shows to date. 2004 will be an anomaly of sorts for the band as they take their first year-long hiatus in over 18 years. That's correct, one of America's most popular touring bands is taking the year off, to return in 2005. Luckily fans can take solace in the release of Night Of Joy and two additional live albums to follow later this year.

Night of Joy - track listing
1. Thought Sausage 5:31
2. Thin Air 7:50
3. Use Me 8:26
4. Bayou Lena 6:41
5. Old Neighborhood 6:16
6. Bust It Big 9:05
7. Arleen 10:21
8. I Wish 6:56
9. Rebirtha 17:12

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[Published on: 1/21/04]

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