Widespread Panic Tries New Experiment For Latest ‘Driving Songs’ Release

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Fans of jam titans Widespread Panic might have noticed the band didn’t issue an official recording of their October 20th concert at Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater in their usual quick fashion. Today, Panic released the Milwaukee opener as a more thoroughly mixed recording along with an explanation from the group’s frontman.

Between 2007 and 2011 Widespread Panic would put together and sell Driving Songs compilations featuring highlights from a specific tour. The band wanted to revive the series, but instead of going with highlights from a tour they picked an entire concert. Frontman John Bell explained, “Balance and flow of song selection and order was the hope for this project; a somewhat more elusive endeavor when putting together a collection of tunes from different venues throughout the year. We also liked the idea of having John Keane mix a whole show with our present Gang of Prayers… uh, Players.” Longtime collaborator John Keane has produced many WSP albums and also has sat-in with the group dozens of times.

Panic opened the three-night stand at the Riverside with their first and to date only cover of Tom Petty’s “You Wreck Me.” The show also featured a mix of staples such as “Barstools & Dreamers,” “Ain’t Life Grand,” “Bust It Big” and “Travelin’ Light” with more rare material including “Aunt Avis,” “Mercy” and covers of ZZ Top’s “Waitin’ For The Bus” and “Jesus Just Left Chicago.” Head to LiveWidespreadPanic.com to purchase the Keane-mixed recording from Widespread’s October 20th show.

Read a note about the release from John Bell:

Instead of compiling selected tracks from 2017 Widespread Panic shows, the Band decided to pick a full concert (not yet officially released). So, this past year’s “Driving Songs” will be reflected in the more thoroughly mixed concert on 10/20/17 from Milwaukee’s Riverside Theatre.

Balance and flow of song selection and order was the hope for this project; a somewhat more elusive endeavor when putting together a collection of tunes from different venues throughout the year. We also liked the idea of having John Keane mix a whole show with our present Gang of Prayers… uh, Players.

For those who prefer a diet of instant gratification (myself included), we apologize for the delay in making the Riverside tracks available for download.

To All, thanks for your inspiration and support as we try something a wee bit different.

Happy Holidays, JB

Setlist (via Everyday Companion)

Set One: You Wreck Me, Weight Of The World, Machine > Barstools and Dreamers > Machine, Travelin’ Light, Visiting Day, Big Wooly Mammoth, Aunt Avis, B of D, Action Man

Set Two: Old Neighborhood, Makes Sense To Me, You Should Be Glad, Waitin’ For The Bus > Jesus Just Left Chicago, Mercy > Jam > Bust It Big > Drums > Rock, Protein Drink > Sewing Machine

Encore: Honky Red, Ain’t Life Grand

[Only ‘You Wreck Me’; ‘Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin’ rap during ‘Barstools and Dreamers’]

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