Multitrack Archive Release #5: Johnson City 2001

Freedom Hall
Johnson City, Tennessee
November 20, 2001


A band truly in it for the long haul is assured of at least one constant during their journey toward longevity….change.  2001 proved that point for Widespread Panic as fifteen years into their gig, events were such that the band had an opening for a front-of-house sound engineer. After a period of sound-by-committee, late summer found Widespread Panic finally choosing Chris Rabold to be the integral sonic link between the band and its audience……truly a job for a “channeler.”  By the ripe old age of 24, Chris had certainly more than put in his 10,000 hours by starting the previous decade as a rabid fan and then earning his way through the ranks of the road crew.  With the remainder of the 2001 summer tour to find his bearings and settle into the saddle of what was his first real rodeo; chances are that the upcoming fall tour became a personal proving ground.

By the time the crew bus hit Johnson City, TN on 11/20/2001, Chris already had a good mix of requisite experience notched in his mixing console…..from outdoor spots like Oak Mountain and The Greek Theatre to indoor rooms like Lakefront Arena and The Orpheum Theater.  Interspersed throughout each of those venues, and every other one along the way, were all the nuances that gave each location its own indelible brand….especially from the sound engineer’s perspective…and sometimes that was positive; but oftentimes it was not.  Whether then or now, each night’s performance always counts for something and certainly has an effect on future endeavors……if only minimally.  All of those experiences seemed to synergistically collide that cold fall Tuesday night in the Tri-Cities area of Tennessee.  Whether in the crowd, on the stage…or in Chris’ case, at the sound board….a collective peak seemed to be reached that night that defines why we all do what we do to put ourselves in the middle of Widespread Panic.  And fueling it yet once again was a band of the same name that had the engine all warmed up for everyone’s benefit.

With the official Widespread Panic Archives release of Johnson City 2001 that night’s performance continues to take us everywhere….with old tunes, new tunes, borrowed tunes, blue tunes…and even a “Happy Birthday” for Todd.  Straight from the “L.a.” opener, this show just wasn’t in a hurry. And to quickly prove it, “Ain’t No Use,” “Impossible,” and “Worry” all realized their opportunity to stretch the body and mind before the band gave everyone a chance to catch their breath with a rare rendition of the previously unreleased “New Blue.”  A nice run to the end of the first set included a “Stop Go” reminding us that even though the set was almost over, everything was going to be alright. After instantly finding the 2nd set groove with “Weak Brain”, the relatively new “Old Neighborhood” and the always-welcome “Trouble” continued to exhibit the night’s patience.  From that point, this show just didn’t stop or disappoint….with creatively inspired renditions of “Love Tractor,” “Pigeons” and “Airplane,” and even an all-out, bass-driven “Astronomy Domine” jam from the drums.  Mikey put his idyllic touch on the evening with “The Waker” before the band finished up the second set with “She Caught the Katy,” a tune normally reserved for sound checks.  The first of the night’s two encores was certainly fit for a Tuesday with “Gimme” before they finally sent everyone off into that cold Tennessee night with nothing but a “Chunk of Coal” and, of course, a smile on everybody’s face.

Almost a decade after this Johnson City 2001 performance, who could have been better suited than Chris Rabold to engineer the multi-track recording? As expected, he’s taken full advantage of this unique opportunity to redefine for us a musical experience that he feels went a long way in defining himself.  Perfect sound is certainly a holy grail in the sense that it will never be found… long as there is a knob to turn……but we should be glad Rabold hasn’t figured that out yet and therefore continues to be relentless in his search.  So there he is each night the band’s out on tour, doing his thing while occupying what is arguably the best seat in the house….and still relying on all the experience from years past while possessing the unique insight and willingness to try a different approach when necessary.  Simply put…a true professional.  Listen to the sound….be it Johnson City 2001 or most anywhere since, and it’s easy to forget that about midway through 2001 we had a black hole at the soundboard.  Since then it’s been paradise found… the key of Rabold.

For your very own copy of Johnson City 2001, visit a place some call Paradise:

Disc 1:

1. L.a. 4:45
2. Wondering 7:41
3. It Ain’t No Use 10:27
4. Impossible 5:04
5. Worry 7:16
6. New Blue 4:41
7. Holden Oversoul 8:03
8. Stop-Go 10:20
9. Makes Sense To Me 4:27

Disc 2:

1. Weak Brain, Narrow Mind 9:13
2. One Arm Steve 4:04
3. Old Neighborhood 6:22
4. Trouble 2:57
5. Love Tractor 7:18
6. Pigeons 11:37
7. Airplane 14:06
8. Drums 16:27

Disc 3:

1. Drums and Bass 7:41
2. Astronomy Domine Jam 2:45
3. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl 8:16
4. The Waker 4:50
5. She Caught The Katy 4:21
6. Gimme 5:24
7. Chunk Of Coal 4:23

John Bell – Vocals, Guitar
John Hermann – Keyboards, Vocals
Michael Houser – Guitar, Vocals
Todd Nance – Drums
Domingo S. Ortiz – Percussion
Dave Schools – Bass

Johnson City 2001
Freedom Hall, Johnson City, TN

All songs written by Widespread Panic, published by Widespread Music/BMI except: It Ain’t No Use by J.Modeliste, A. Neville, L. Nocentelli, G. Porter, Bugaloo Music/BMI. Makes Sense to Me by Daniel Hutchens, Widespread Music/Other Ducks Music/BMI. Weak Brain, Narrow Mind by Willie Dixon, Hoochie Coochie Music/BMI. Trouble by Cat Stevens, Cat Music/ASCAP. Astronomy Domine by Syd Barrett, Essex Music/ASCAP. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl by Sonny Boy Williamson, ARC Music/BMI. She Caught The Katy by Taj Mahal, James Rachell, EMI Blackwood Music/BMI. Chunk Of Coal by Billy Joe Shaver, Sony / ATV Songs / BMI.

Recorded by Chris Rabold
Mixed by Chris Rabold and Drew Vandenberg at Chase Park Transduction Studios in Athens, GA.
Mastered by Drew Vandenberg at Chase Park Transduction Studios in Athens, GA.
Additional Audience Recordings Provided by Charles Fox
Packaging by Chris Bilheimer
Liner Notes by Horace Moore
Photographs by Thomas G. Smith
Setlist by Garrie Vereen


  1. Coconut Phil on 11/16/2010 at 12:59 pm

    Suh-weet, can’t wait to get my copy, I’ll be jamming for the rest of the year. Looking forward to the super sound quality. Loved Classic City II, this will be a great follow up. Thanks Horace, happy holidays to you and the family, keep jamming, we all appreciate what you do for us fans.

    Phil, Simpsonville, SC

  2. Diner on 11/16/2010 at 1:18 pm

    Well done and thank you, awful stoked to get into this one. You gotta love the liner notes indicating that all songs by Widespread Panic, except: nearly every song on the disc. Fortunately as we all know, they cover better than the originals. Thanks people-

  3. Dustin on 11/16/2010 at 1:52 pm

    Probably the best show I have attended with this band. Truly a magical night with a small crowd on a Tuesday in the middle of the Appalachian hills.

    GREAT choice for this series. Keep up the good work, Horace.

  4. FareTheeWell on 11/16/2010 at 2:24 pm

    Horace and Chris- thanks for your time and energy on this one! I can solidly recall getting back to our car after the show and fending for the left-over Budweiser. It was so cold that night, the Bud had slightly frozen during the show. My first Budweiser “slushie”…..mmmmmmm. God damn it was tasty!

  5. MIke on 11/16/2010 at 10:27 pm

    Caught this show on a whim. Missed the L.A. however, due to the extra security at the door in lue of the 911 attacks. Still sour about that and still haven’t caught an L.A. Other than that, awesome show. Highlights for me; the ain’t no use jam into impossible was nuts, new blue very fresh(wish they hadn’t cut that one) old neighborhood also very fresh. Rockin jams coming out of drums and a perfect encore to cap it off. I also recall hearing the bad news about Mikey shortly after this show, and thinking I got to see these guys as much a possible before its all over.

  6. Nekos on 11/17/2010 at 11:07 am

    This show brings back such great memories. The 81 mile drive from Knoxville to the Tri-City area with my boys Chio and Danny in a Jeep Cherokee that kept leaking oil. My smart idea to pick up my tickets from will call as soon as we got there (the Three Little Birds rap during Stop-Go was a shout out to the crowd, most of which would miss half of the first set due to the Freedom Hall staff being overwhelmed with getting tickets to people in a timely fashion) letting them know that there was plenty more to be enjoyed. The girl inhaling a full ballon of nitrous in front of our car, passing out for a full 10 second and coming to.

    The music, the fans the local the fall air all mixed to make a magical night. Driving back to Knoxville that night, I said to Danny, “that is why i ride, that is why i drive to catch those shows.”

    Thank you Horace for taking me back to those great days.

  7. Dennison Webb on 11/17/2010 at 12:53 pm

    Great selection! This show was memorable for sure….Thanks Horace for your hard work!

  8. LGandM on 11/17/2010 at 6:23 pm

    what a treat… well worth the wait… man thanx to chris and all who worked on this !!! happy holidays horace… my pleasure to meet you in NOLA !!!

  9. James Denning on 11/19/2010 at 12:09 am

    Can’t wait to hear this. Thank you for all the work that is put into these.

  10. tito on 11/19/2010 at 9:52 pm

    24bit goodness, please keep these coming. i’d much rather spend $20 on the quality than quanity, any day!!!! thank you so much

  11. Bah on 11/21/2010 at 12:44 pm


  12. Wahoo on 11/21/2010 at 6:14 pm

    Nice work, this sounds amazing…

  13. purepanic on 11/22/2010 at 9:53 pm

    This show has always been a favorite of mine. Mikey soaring out of the last aint no use solo truly defines a Widespread Panic pinnacle. This show is so so mellow. Thank you very much for this perfect selection.

  14. […] Multitrack Archive Release #5: Johnson City 2001 […]

  15. Stacy on 11/24/2010 at 10:25 pm

    Great to see this show Archived. This show was very intimate and the 1st stop on our honeymoon after our 11-17-01. The venue was very small, and when we went to will call to pick up our tickets, the middle school kids were getting out of school. We missed the 1st song due to the security at the door, but ended up with great seats. Definitely one of my top 5 shows in all of my 18 years of seeing panic.
    Thanks for the Archiving and for never letting a single memory fade away!

  16. dapanic on 12/05/2010 at 4:35 pm

    This sounds absolutely sick. Great sound on a great Stop-Go.
    Thank you Chris and Horace!

  17. […] Where You Can Sample This Release: Archive Blog […]

  18. travis on 01/17/2011 at 3:50 pm

    I wrote e-mail after e-mail requesting this one to be released.. finally sometime last year horace went out of his way to e-mail me back and let me know that they decided to release it. Now, here it is. Just as amazing as I remember.. I saw a lot of pinnacle panic shows, but this one still sits atop. There was something very distinctly different on this night when they took the stage. It was just a sound I had never heard from them before. Truly unique and special. Thanks..