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Six Degrees of Swampland: Widespread Panic


The mighty Widespread Panic epitomize road warriors…seasoned veterans in a schizophrenic music industry. The Athens, Georgia, band originated in the mid 80s when John Bell and Michael Houser began playing music together. Fellow-band mates--Todd Nance, Dave Schools, Sonny Ortiz and John Hermann remained together in easy and dark times. The tragic passing of Michael Houser in 2002 marked a turbulent period for the group. In 2006 guitarist Jimmy Herring joined the band, and Panic entered another bright era in their glorious saga.

Over the last 22 years Panic remained a force in the industry without radio, MTV or major media coverage, and still managed to sell over 3 million albums. For more than a decade Panic has remained in the top 50 touring bands, and they generate over 20 million dollars a year. Widespread Panic stands as a indelible grass-roots organization that defied all musical conventions to carve their own niche in the fickle business.

Panic emits a southern grace, hospitality and talent. They are confident in their abilities and they’ve never pretended to be anything they are not. Panic forever remains connected to great southern music reservoirs and artists such as Capricorn Records, The Allman Brothers Band, Colonel Bruce Hampton, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Vic Chesnutt and Billy Bob Thornton as well as a proclivity for storytelling in song. Last year Widespread Panic was inducted into The Georgia Music Hall of Fame, and to this day they continue to take their musical magic show out on the road…James Calemine


Six Degrees of Swampland: Widespread Panic Contents


(Click the image above to go Mystery and Manners' coverage of the Widespread Panic Archives Series including an interview series with archivist Horace Moore and reviews of each release.)

Interviews with Band Members

John Bell Interview from 2011 talking about the 25th anniversary

Dave Schools Interview (June 2009 Q & A on a wide-range of topics)

Todd Nance Interview (Rare insight from Panic's drummer on the band's early days, the passing of Mikey Houser and Panic's onward journey)

Jimmy Herring Interview (Panic's talented guitarist goes on the record regarding his indelible musical journey)

Articles & Concert Reviews

Widespread On The Beach (An overall perspective from 2008 Orange Beach shows)

2008 Georgia Music Hall of Fame Induction (Panic inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame)

Panic Rehearsals (A Prelude to 2008 Tour)

Chuck Leavell Praises Panic (Rolling Stones keyboardist goes on the record for Panic)

Widespread Panic's Official Induction Into The Georgia Music Hall of Fame (Preserved in 2008 GMHOF Almanac)

Album Reviews

Dirty Side Down (2010 Studio release)

Panic In The Streets (Live DVD Documenting Monumental CD Release)

Carbondale 2000 (Panic's First Archive Series Release)

Valdosta 1989 (Panic's Second Archive Release)

Huntsville 1996 (Panic's Third Archive Release)

Montreal 1997 (Panic's Fourth Archive Release)

Another Joyous Occasion (Panic's Jazz-laden live CD)

Free Somehow (2008 Studio Release)

Side Projects

John Hermann: Smiling Assassin (Panic keyboardist cuts solo CD)

Jimmy Herring: Lifeboat (Herring's Latest solo CD)

Barbara Cue: Louisiana Truckstop (Todd Nance's side project)

Panic-Related Dispatches

RIP Philip Walden Jr. (November 15, 1962--June 7, 2011) (6/8/11)

Widespread Panic's John Bell Looks Forward To Bonnaroo 2011 (6/7/11)

Brute: Nine High a Pallet (5/12/11)

Widespread Panic's Sunny Ortiz Calls On His Day Off (4/11/11)

Widespread Panic's Todd Nance From Asheville (4/9/11)

Widespread Panic Begins 25th Anniversary Tour Tonight in Louisville, Kentucky (4/1/11)

Widespread Panic, Jason Isbell & Lucinda Williams Set To Perform SXSW (3/8/11)

Widespread Panic’s 25th Anniversary Athens Shows (2/13/11)

...On the Eve of Widespread Panic's 25th Year Anniversary Shows in Athens, Georgia... (2/9/11)

Bloodkin's Colorado Acoustic Run & Post-Panic Electric Evening at the 40-Watt Club (1/28/11)

Widespread Panic's Sunny Ortiz Discusses 25 Year Anniversary Tour (1/25/11)

Widespread Panic’s John Bell’s Upcoming Charity ‘Classic & Concert’: Hannah’s Buddies (1/12/11)

Widespread Panic Announces 25th Year Anniversary Tour Plans (1/3/11)

The Rising Tide of Widespread Panic (12/28/10)

Members of Widespread Panic Perform This Weekend (12/7/10)

Widespread Panic’s Porch Songs Vol. 6 & Archive Series #5 (11/29/10)

Widespread Panic Rocks Saint Augustine (10/2/10)

Sunday Sounds: Prayers & Light For Widespread Panic's Garrie Vereen (9//26/10)

Bloodkin Opens First Shows of Widespread Panic's Fall Tour This Weekend (9/13/10)

The Squidbillies' Georgia Connection (8/30/10)

An Athens Afternoon: Adventures In the Past & Present (Notes On Bloodkin, Panic, & The Georgia Theatre) (8/23/10)

Stockholm Syndrome Performs To Assist Georgia Theatre (8/15/10)

CNN to Feature Widespread Panic Tuesday May 11th (5/10/10)

Widespread Panic on Season Premiere of Squidbillies & Daniel Hutchens on Widespread Panic (5/8/10)

Widespread Panic's Sunday White House Visit (4/17/10)

Wanee Report: Day Two (4/16/10)

The Wiregrass Road To Wanee (4/15/10)

Widespread Panic's Sunny Ortiz Anticipates Wanee Festival (4/13/10)

Widespread Panic's Dirty Side Down Arrives... (4/7/10)

Widespread Panic Releases Dirty Side Down May 25, 2010 (3/12/10)

Volume 2 of Interview Series with Widespread Panic's Todd Nance (1/7/10)

Widespread Panic Brings In 2010 At Atlanta's Phillips Arena (1/1/10)

Todd Nance Talk & Vic Chesnutt on Widespread Panic (12/30/09)

Horace Moore On The Road Fall Tour 09

Daniel Hutchens & Widespread Panic Recent Songwriting Session

Wayne Sawyer 1968-2009

Everyday Companion's Ted Rockwell: Widespread Panic's Cosmic Statistician

Todd Nance Reports In From Chicago About the First Run of Dates with the Allmans Brothers Band

Dave Schools Discusses the Current Tour with The Allman Brothers Band 

Related Musical Friends

Bloodkin: Cutthroat Blues (Panic's Songwriting Friends)

Bloodkin: Working Class Heroes (2009 Report on Bloodkin)

Bloodkin: Baby They Told Us We Would Rise Again (Todd Nance guest appearance on Bloodkin's latest studio)

Daniel Hutchens Interview (Bloodkin's songwriting master discusses his craft)

Eric Carter Interview: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 (Bloodkin's guitarist talks about latest endeavors)

William Tonks (Athens' master utility musician)

David Barbe (Athens' Sonic guru goes on the record)

Capricorn Records (Panic served as flagship band on resurrected Capricorn label)

Phil Walden Memorial (Capricorn's President Memorial)

Billy Bob Thornton : Six Degrees of Swampland (Billy Bob's first film--Athens, Georgia--was based on Widespread Panic

Athens, GA links

80 Miles Between Athens And Atlanta (Many musicians have traveled this road)

Weaver D’s (Outstanding Soul Food at a place R.E.M named one of their albums after)

Weaver D's Soul Food Guide (An Favorite Panic Eatery)

Wilson’s Soul Food (Another timeless Soul Food joint in Athens)




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