Daniel Donato & George Porter Jr. Ride High With A Glad Widespread Panic In Mexico

Watch the acclaimed guitarist and legendary bassist join the band at Panic En La Playa for “Ride Me High” and “I’m So Glad.”

By Scott Bernstein Apr 18, 2024 10:05 am PDT

Widespread Panic had a little help from their friends last night at the final concert of their 12th annual Panic En La Playa destination event at the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Both guitarist Daniel Donato and bassist George Porter Jr. sat-in with the sextet on a pair of covers to end their last set of the four-day concert vacation.

Daniel Donato was on hand at Panic En La Playa Doce for performances with his The Allman Brothers Band tribute act, Trouble No More, on Monday and his Cosmic Country ensemble on Wednesday afternoon. Donato previously joined Widespread Panic on May 6, 2023 in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Legendary bassist George Porter Jr. held down the bottom end with the Playa Allstars on Sunday night and Tuesday afternoon at PELP Doce. The co-founding member of The Meters has made 10 guest appearances with Widespread Panic dating back to a September 1998 concert in Crested Butte, Colorado. Panic previously brought out GPJ to collaborate at six of their past Panic En La Playa concerts between 2014 and 2019.

Daniel Donato and George Porter Jr. emerged late in the second set on Wednesday night. “C’mon, who matters?” Widespread Panic bassist told the capacity crowd before introducing George Porter Jr. “He’s going to funk you up,” Schools added ahead of John Bell welcoming “Mr. Daniel Donato” to the stage.

Widespread Panic – Bell, Schools, lead guitarist Jimmy Herring, percussionist Domingo “Sunny” Ortiz, keyboardist JoJo Hermann and drummer Duane Trucks — teamed with Donato and George Porter Jr. on their beloved cover of J.J. Cale’s “Ride Me High” to start the two-song collaboration. The nearly 15-minute version featured fretboard fireworks a plenty from Donato and Herring as Porter and Schools laid down an effusive groove. GPJ and Dave Schools engaged in a duet towards the middle of the song before throwing it to JoJo for a piano solo.

Daniel Donato and George Porter Jr. stuck around for a set-closing take on the Skip James-penned, Cream-popularized “I’m So Glad.” Donato and Herring continued to exchange riffs throughout the Col. Bruce Hampton staple. Watch fan-shot video of both collaborations below:


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Brad Walker (See 7 videos)
Widespread Panic (See 567 videos) , Daniel Donato (See 48 videos) and George Porter Jr. (See 65 videos)
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Michael Wilker (See 16 videos)
Widespread Panic (See 567 videos) , Daniel Donato (See 48 videos) and George Porter Jr. (See 65 videos)

Earlier in the night, Widespread Panic kicked off their fourth of four PELP Doce headlining shows with a nine-song first set. The opening frame began with fan-favorite “Walkin’ (For Your Love)” and included such staples as “Big Wooly Mammoth,” “Airplane,” “Greta” and the three-year old song “Halloween Face.”

The six-piece chose the classic “Chilly Water” to open last night’s second set. Ballad “Jack” followed ahead of a run linking “Blight,” “Diner” and “Saint Ex.” Next up was the band’s recently released single, “We Walk Each Other Home.” The potent “Postcard” led into the aforementioned versions of “Ride Me High” and “I’m So Glad” with Donato and Porter to wrap the frame. Widespread Panic said farewell with an encore featuring a cover of The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” and the rousing original “Love Tractor.”

Next up for Widespread Panic is a set on Thursday, April 25 at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Find all upcoming dates and ticketing links by scrolling below.

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Official Audio (via nugs.net)

Setlist (via PanicStream.com)

Set One: Walkin’ (For Your Love), Fishing > Big Wooly Mammoth > Walk On, Thought Sausage, Airplane > Take-off Jam > Greta > Blue Indian, Halloween Face (69 mins)

Set Two: Chilly Water, Jack, Blight > Diner > Zambi Jam > Saint Ex, We Walk Each Other Home, Postcard, Ride Me High* > I’m So Glad* (97 mins)

Encore: Dear Prudence, Love Tractor (16 mins)

* – w/ Daniel Donato on guitar and George Porter Jr on bass

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