August 03, 2006 -- After the shocking mid-tour departure of guitarist George McConnell, Widespread Panic confirmed rumors that longtime friend Jimmy Herring will be joining the band as lead guitarist. The band made the announcement today (August 3) on their website, saying:
By R. Massie
Widespread Panic is happy to announce that Jimmy Herring will be joining the band as lead guitarist.
Jimmy, who in the past, has toured with The Dead and Aquarium Rescue Unit, said he is extremely excited to join his old friends on stage this fall. The tour will start September 14th with a three day run in New York City at the legendary Radio City Music Hall.
The band continues their Summer Tour tomorrow night (August 4) at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD, presumably with the combination of multi-instrumentalist and producer John Keane and guitar tech Sam Holt filling in for McConnell. The tour will conclude with a three night run at The Chicago Theatre, August 11 - 13.
Herring, who has sat in with the band a number of times (the first time being in 1991 at Athens' Georgia Theatre) was originally offered the job that McConnell took in replacing Widespread Panic co-founder and guitarist Michael Houser after his death in 2002 of pancreatic cancer.
More on Jimmy Herring can be found at his official website: www.jimmyherring.net.
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August 02, 06 -- George McConnell, lead guitarist with the rock band Widespread Panic, has moved on to further adventures.
When co-founding band member "Mikey" Houser passed away four years ago, McConnell, along with saxophonist Randall Bramblett, joined forces with Widespread Panic, and the band played on.
Longtime friend and producer John Keane has been playing both the pedal steel and electric guitar throughout this recent tour, along with guitarist Sam Holt, founder of the band Outformation- who has been sitting in from time to time. The remainder of Widespread Panic's summer tour will proceed at full steam.
"Bottom line is there's still songs to be played, music to make, and that's what's going to happen," singer/guitarist John Bell added. "We'll miss George a lot. I'm very grateful to him for lending us his talent and friendship these past four years, and we wish him all the best."