For the first time ever, Widespread Panic’s first four albums from the band's classic line-up will be available on vinyl. The album that started it all, Space Wrangler (1998) and self-titled follow-up Widespread Panic (1991) will drop in July, while third release Everyday (1993) and fourth full-length Ain’t Life Grand (1994) will hit the streets in August.
Early on Widespread Panic began to forge a sound unto themselves, a combination of Michael Houser’s unorthodox guitar playing, John Bell’s coarse growl, Todd Nance’s rock-steady drumming, David Schools’ lead bass playing and Sunny Ortiz’s multi-textured percussion, coupled with a collective commitment to playing original songs from the outset and a willingness to walk the improvisational high wire night after night.
However, it really wasn’t until John “Jojo” Hermann – a native New Yorker-turned-Mississippian equally influenced by the likes of Professor Longhair and Terry Adams - took over on keyboards for Widespread's third album Everyday that the band became a true ensemble. With a new songwriter, vocalist and worthy onstage foil in Hermann in the fold, the band’s classic lineup was set.
Ain't Life Grand - the second with Hermann - saw the band refining their songwriting approach with tighter material and earning radio exposure for the first time in the process with their cover of Bloodkin's "Can't Get High" and the melodic original "Airplane." Home to further fan favorites and concert staples like the title cut, "Blackout Blues" and "Fishwater," Ain't Life Grand is Widespread at the height of their popularity and potential.
Widespread Panic Ain't Life Grand Track Listing:
1. Little Kin
2. Ain’t Life Grand
4. Can’t Get High
6. Raise the Roof
9. Blackout Blues
2014 Widespread Records