Many songs that the band covers come from this time when Panic joined forces with Vic Chestnutt to form brute including “Blight”, “Protein / Sewing”, “Let’s Get Down to Business”, “Expiration Date”, and (recently) “Puppy Sleeps”. However, this is the first time that Widespread has ever played “Bastards in Bubbles” live. As is the style of many of Vic Chestnutt’s tunes, the song begins cautiously and slowly before breaking down the gates of hell on a fiendishly wild romp around Satan’s yard. The intensity seeped into a bass-heavy “Sewing Machine” closing the night and leaving no man standing except for the small, minority of souls that still stand transfixed, shocked to paralysis after hearing the return of “The Waker”. – ‘Bastards In Bubbles’ FTP (Brute) Miss you, Vic ^ JB on mandolin The boys wasted no time upon return by absolutely demolishing a sizzlin’ “Thought Sausage” with the acoustic instruments laid by the wayside. Jimmy Herring and Schools meant business with Herring distorted guitar licks creating echoes within the fabrics of the universe. John Bell remained focused and delivered his wicked gumbo raps with hungry precision. The bass kept thumpin’ with the help of Sonny Ortiz’s whirlwind percussion hands and JoJo’s synthesizer to nail J.J. Cale’s “Travellin’ Light” before returning to the band’s repertoire with a shining “Pleas.” John Bell, sounding like a desperate man with nothing left to lose, implored the crowd in sincere solidarity to “Don’t let it get too sad / Don’t let it get too dark”. “Bastards in Bubbles”[Video: MrTopDogger] As most of the audience tried to collect themselves and their shattered world-views, the Panics transitioned into another beloved classic “Arleen” with its distinctive bass lines and unpredictable vocal raps that was modified heavily from Winston Riley’s reggae version. John Bell and Dave Schools went berserk, opting for a very untraditional opening, with playful back and forth banter and shouts. The boys were having fun messing around, and it soon became clear that they had no intention of getting to the first verse. The bond between these musical masterminds was truly felt by their improvised jamming as if they were sitting in a nondescript garage back in 1986. John Bell commanded “Stop!” as the music faded out. The drummers, Sonny and Duane Trucks, led the masters of their craft back into the fluidity of sound with a raucous “Pigeons”, complete with psychedelic breakdowns, soaring guitar riffs, and unearthly shrieks. Jojo’s piano introduced a transforming “Greta.” During this song, JoJo transformed the audience into “a pack of rabid dogs” with his unique brand of magic as the band and crowd howled at the unseen moon. As Jimmy Herring’s guitar licks faded out, JoJo’s keys introduced the “Good People” a tribute to the community of dedicated fans that travel to the ends of the planet to hear this band. It goes deeper than dedication though; it is about the spirit that connects this brotherhood of outcasts, vagrants, and everyday common-men and women, and gently reminds them to be the goodpeople that lift each other up, shedding our bad intentions in order to make this world–or even this day–a brighter, more humane place to live and share. Dave Schools after asking the audience to be his date introduced his wingman Steve Lopez, Widespread’s touring manager, who thanked the audience and community and insisted on making 2019 the year of love. The two led the countdown bidding adieu to the 2018 and welcoming in 2019 with confetti, balloons, and explosive chaos that subsided into the traditional “Auld Lang Syne” over the house PA. Notes * w/ Kevin Scott & Nick Johnson – Backing Vocals, Shakers The White Wizard, Jimmy Herring, dispersed holy light from his guitar until the bottom dropped out for a slick and funky jam with portions of Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusherman” interwoven through the middle section. It was reminiscent of a year prior at the same venue when the band performed the infamous “Gentleman’s Night” of all male titled and themed songs. Set 2: Thought Sausage, Travelin’ Light, Pleas > Good People, Honky Red, I’m Not Alone, Saint Ex, Holden Oversoul (62 mins) “The Waker”[Videos: MrTopDogger] A solemn silence overtook the anxiously awaiting audience in Atlanta’s sold-out Fox Theater last night. The show-time was pushed back to 9 E.S.T. with a three-set jubilee on the table. The six musicians of Widespread Panic walked leisurely to their positions on stage with John Bell electing to take a seat for the first acoustic set. A raucous “Ain’t Life Grand” allowed JoJo Hermann room to roam on his piano as John Bell provided powerful vocals from his seat. The true force of Jimmy Herring’s guitar was teased before simmering down for a heartfelt rendition of Jorma Kaukonen’s “Genesis.” John Bell was tugging on heartstrings as well as the guitar with the honest lyrics including the appropriate opening verse, “The time has come for us to pause, and think of living as it was. Into the future we must cross. I’d like to go with you.” Jimmy Herring kept the tempo in overdrive for an explosive jam that culminated with a mystical “Zambi rap” in tribute to their late mentor Col. Bruce Hampton who died as the final encore of his own 70th birthday celebration at the same Theater in May 2017. The tribute continued into Skip James’ 1931 cover of “I’m So Glad” that was made famous by Cream but a staple in Col. Bruce Hampton’s repertoire. Jimmy Herring, as a past bandmate of the Colonel’s, dazzled through the familiar jam. Hometown performers, Kevin Scott and Nick Johnson, joined the band to add backup vocals and shakers to the homogenous blend of sound. This was only the fourth time that Widespread covered this song. (For more information on Colonel Bruce Hampton’s impact on the band, see Horde Tour and Aquarium Rescue Unit, his roots run deep as cosmic mentor and spiritual advisor). – 1st set with JBseated – ‘The Waker’ LTP 6/28/2002 Red Rocks (1,083 shows); Firsttime without Mikey The Panics kept the pedal to the floor with a fistful-of-dynamite cover of Murray McLauchlan’s “Honky Red”. John Bell, always treading a fine line on the lunatic fringe, delved deeper into madness as Herring electrified with his lightning guitar licks and Schools threatened to crush his bass with the force of his mighty bear paws. John Bell unified the audience in spirited comradery with a heart-warming rendition of “I’m Not Alone” battling the commonly felt feelings of isolation with the lyrics “I feel a little bit easier… Knowing that you’re all here!” Set 1: For What It’s Worth, Ain’t Life Grand, Genesis, Blight, May Your Glass Be Filled, Space Wrangler (44 mins) It may be coincidence, but the Fox Theater doesn’t have another show until January 3rd, giving them 72 hours to fix whatever was destroyed in the mayhem that is sure to follow a three-night stay by the Kings of Jam Rock N’ Roll, Widespread Panic. The band never ceases to amaze, and continues to find new ways to shock and awe even their most longtime supporters. This show was one for the ages, and fights for absolute greatness among the endless Pantheon of great Panic shows. John Bell orchestrated a spiritually lifting blessing with the original masterpiece “May Your Glass Be Filled” which hasn’t been performed since New Year’s Eve in Nashville two years ago. John Bell blessing the audience with the words, “May your family share laughter; your songs always play. May your wishes come true; even those left unprayed.” To close the first acoustic set, the Panics executed a stirring tribute to late Widespread Panic guitarist and co-founder, Michael Houser, with “Space Wrangler.” John Bell ad-libbed a rare ending to the second verse “Pass the jail without tears” he added, “his daddy’s in there”. The song progressed building up spectacularly with Jimmy Herring picking up speed and intensity until the first set break allowed the audience refreshment time to find “the place that pours the coldest beer” Returning to the band’s original classics, Dave Schools’ lively bass revealed a suggestive “Little Lilly” before rapping a few more “Arleen” measures in another leisurely transitional jam. The boys knocked a serene “Pilgrims” out of the park before shocking the audience once more with another rarity. Widespread Panic performed The Hollies’ “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress” once before during the legendary Halloween run in 2000, more commonly referred to as Nolaween. To finish the third and final set, the first set of 2019, the band segued into an uproarious “Chilly Water” that threatened to blow the roof off the prestigious theater. With the audience soaked from thrown cups of water, the band shuffled offstage to regroup before the encores. Encore: End of the Show^, Protein Drink > Bastards In Bubbles > Sewing Machine (21 mins) To end the last show of this unbelievable three-night run, Widespread Panic crushed an emotionally charged version of The Bloodkin’s “End of the Show” with John Bell sporting his “tiny guitar” (mandolin). Keeping it in the musical family, the Panics ended the show with a traditional combination with another legendary bust-out hidden in the middle. The last jam began with Vic Chestnutt’s “Protein Drink” but instead of seguing into “Sewing Machine” as custom predicts, the boys instead played their late friend, Vic Chestnutt’s “Bastards in Bubbles” for the first time ever, from the co-written album Nine High a Pallet. Dave Schools remained top dog with a haunting version of “Blight” which he co-wrote with Vic Chestnutt. Schools, always slightly mischievous with cutting intelligence, sang the lead vocals with a well-placed jab at the Commander-in-Chief, “I heard some words of wisdom, the other day. They went in one ear and out of the other one” and added, “They go around the oval office, and around and around. Walls keep people IN too, ya know.” The band emerged from the shadows of the side stage to celebrate the New Year with a special treat that hasn’t been played since the Red Rocks run of 2002. “The Waker” was written by the late space wrangler and co-founder of the band, Mikey Houser, for his newborn son, Waker Houser. After his death, the upbeat song was put on the shelf to never be played again. Or so we thought… the boys jumped right in, blowing the dust off the tune, the disbelief of all in attendance, and gave the goodpeople their ticket value with that bustout alone. Initially, most people were too stunned by the miracle taking place to react, but eventually tears flowed and people rejoiced at the incredible bust-out and celebrated the New Year as well as the soulful life that was Mikey Houser. It was Jimmy Herring’s first time playing the tune, and he aced it. Set 3: THE WAKER > Arleen, Pigeons, Greta, I’m So Glad*, Little Lilly, Pilgrims, Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress > Chilly Water (77 mins) Jimmy Herring navigated the band through the wild ride that is “Saint Ex”. The song’s build-up and break down of tempo and intensity was based on the incredible story of a German pilot shooting down his favorite author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry– of The Little Prince notoriety–in World War II. To close the epic second set, the Panics drove home a bouncing “Holden Oversoul” cut from their debut album Space Wrangler. Setlist: Widespread Panic |Fox Theatre | Atlanta, GA | 12/31/18 Kicking off the final show of the year, the boys dove into a politically charged cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”. The song was one of the first covers the band played together during their first live show at the A-frame in their humble Athens beginnings. It has only been performed two dozen times in Widespread Panic’s illustrious thirty-year career, the last being performed earlier this year during the first night of the St. Panics Day run outside of Washington D.C. – ‘Long Cool Woman InA Black Dress’ LTP 10/29/2000 NOLA (1,210 shows); 2nd time played The next stop for the band (and the horde of goodpeople) is Riviera Maya, Mexico for Panic en la Playa Ocho. Don’t forget your sunscreen and two-dollar bills, cause it’s gonna be hot on and off the stage. Until next time, goodpeople, work hard, take care of your brothers and sisters, and have a great year ahead.
Hi! My name is Jack and I am a 9 ½ year old border collie and I am a trail runner. Like most humans, I found my way onto trail by luck and accident, in need for something to fill the time. Even though I was born and raised on a sheep farm and trained by the best, I didn’t care for it. I bounced around a lot between farms, anxiety growing at every stop. My people started driving me to trails to run. So I am a certified trail runner dog now. Okay, first trail is one that is close to home for us but it’s Awesome!!!! Doc’s tips for trail running with your dog Owners hoped I would take to their sheep, but I never did. Don’t force it. Just like I didn’t take to sheep herding as my breed is suppose to, but I love to trail run and hike. They pull my harness out and I get excited and tell them I want to go by wagging my tail and barking. Start slow on wide paths so your human and the dog can get the feel of running and hiking with a leash. Invest in a harness; they can control me better in one. Make sure it fits properly. My favorite is the Ruffwear Front Range Harness Make sure your paw-rents carry water or the route has plenty of spots for you to drink at. Stay healthy with proper vaccinations for the outdoors and flea and tick preventative. Most of this section is exposed and it can get hot during the summer. I get excited when we get to the communication tower that is along the trail. That means the last of the cattle cross-over ladders and heading back into the hardwood forest with plenty of water stops for me. I don’t like those wooden ladders and either fight to go under them or have to be picked up and moved over them. They can treacherous then. After the boulder field, we come to the trail intersection with the fire road. We turn left and head down the gorge. This part follows the creek and has great views of the little cascades with the trail. There is one large white house half way down that is privately owned. It is hard to believe that at one time this little gorge was home to over 30 families. I would live there too because it’s pretty and a great place to run and hike. After a steady decline of about 2 miles we make it back to the parking area. Really, I love them all. I just want to run all of them. They’re all great. But here are some of the ones I have run on. So find a furry friend and get out there! Doc is veterinarian and he keeps me healthy. We will share some tips on trail running with your pooch as well. I get mad when we don’t leave in the morning to go run. I now have 2 younger border collie half sisters, I am told that I am responsible for training them on how to run on trail. Geez, they are a handful. So that’s my story and how I ended up loving trail running. I am here to give you my trail reviews. The trails I love. Hope to see you and your human out there. Follow my adventures on Instagram @pawsaroundthepeninsula Jack’s Trail Review February 18, 2019 Rock Castle Gorge Loop; elevation ranges from 3572 at the top of the gorge to 1700 at the parking area off CC Camp Road (VA Rte 605) Blue Ridge Parkway; Rocky Knob National Recreation Area. The pasture section rolls up and down. There are some rock outcroppings and we pass one of the old AT shelters. This part of the trail was part of the original AT before it was relocated in the 1950s. There is a great view of the valley and Bull Mountain from the overlook just above the shelter. The second day I was at their house, they took me hiking up a mountain. I thought I was going to die! I didn’t know I was so out of shape. But it was so much fun! I loved it! I wanted to do it again! We started running on the local rail trail. It was paved, but I was out there. Little by little, they would take me for running on the trail and other routes they said were safe from cars and other dogs. We start descending rather quickly after we cross the cattle fence. It’s about a 875 foot drop in elevation through hardwood forests and a really cool rock outcropping, known as Bare Rocks. It’s awesome and fun to to maneuver through the boulder field, except when the rocks are wet. Once we climb, the trail opens into the pasture that parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway. Doc says the views are great. I can only see the 3 feet off the ground, so I can see the gorge overlook views, but take his word that the Piedmont and countryside views are great Sometimes there are cows in the pastures. That’s a little scary since they are scared of me and act like they want to charge. The trail is narrow and steep, with rock outcroppings that I sometimes need help getting up and over. There are plenty of drinking pools for me as we cross creeks and runoff locations up the gorge. A few spots to look out into the gorge of hardwoods. It’s my favorite. Rock Castle Gorge Trail. It is a tough trail and definitely not a beginner trail for human or dog. The loop is 10.8 miles with steep climbing. We always start at the base of the gorge, off CC Camp road. The start of the trail here is a gated fire road, once around the gate, we immediately turn right onto the the single track. This follows along the creek for about a mile and then starts the heavy climbing. Over 1,000 feet in 3 miles. After a few years of taking it easy on a hobby farm in Virginia, I was given to some of their friends. I was concerned that this would be like all the other home changes, but my new paw-rents (Jonathan, who we call Doc, and Rebecca) were different, they went running.
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