UTC – McKenzie Arena
For this next volume of Porch Songs, we carry ourselves back to Tennessee, climb up Lookout Mountain and find out we are really just in Widespread Panic’s backyard. Chattanooga, and other small places within a short driving distance from Athens, GA, have always given the band the feeling of being just like home even when they are not. Back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, these little towns in Southern USA helped create a crucible of persistent playing that took root and spread elsewhere. As our pilgrimages continue to take us all over the planet, it’s always nice to find yourself, once again, close to home with the comfort of familiar surroundings.
To get this Tennessee performance underway, “Greta” greets us and as always, gets us all moving in the right direction. A nice little jam seems to end on queue, and Jojo takes charge by dropping right into “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys.” Yep, second song in…craziness should surely ensue! Continuing on with another seamless transition, “Rock” takes over and more than finishes up a hell of a welcome to Chattanooga. Todd’s hometown vocals ring true for “Clinic Cynic” before we ride off to “Space Wrangler” school. “Henry Parsons Died” shows everyone how to keep all charged up just before that craziness comes home to roost with “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.”…catch that one when you can! We head out of the chute from some serious fun right into some raucous fun with “Big Wooly Mammoth” and “Conrad” to close out a spectacular first set…full of old school, new school and some education in between.
“Don’t Tell the Band” gets things well underway for the second set…as if it’s an unshared secret that the devil is on his way! “Imitation Leather Shoes” turns down that dark street and leaves us all asking for “Mercy” before getting challenged with a bucket full of “Chilly Well Water.” In yet another of the night’s wonderful transitions, “Mr. Soul” gives us all a reason to carry the jam well beyond the familiar…and all the way to the “Drums.” As soon as Dave steps back on stage, any chance of sanity being retained is just plain gone. You go figure out the jam sequence…it goes all over the universe before the full band charges right back into “Chilly Well Water” to finish up that “Mr. Soul” sandwich. Sliding from there immediately into “Dyin’ Man,” it’s apparent this show is far from over…and the first notes of “Pusherman” prove that point before “Climb to Safety” finally shuts down an amazing second set. Again reminded that we all volunteered to be “Pilgrims”, Widespread Panic sets us up for one last journey by “Going Out West” before we all take off into the Tennessee night.
What a show…right on time segues…tight, meandering jams…and tangible energy throughout! What more could you ask for? Well….no matter what we get We Still Want More…of course….because that’s Widespread Panic!
Order your copy of November 21, 2001 – Chattanooga, TN.
As always, keep in mind that when listening to these Porch Song releases, what you’re really hearing is a recording of what came through the house speakers the night of the show, so there is no post-show engineering opportunity to dial in each instrument and vocal to perfection as there is with the Widespread Panic Multitrack Releases. So what you’ll occasionally find on these Porch Song recordings is a bit of digital noise, static and maybe even a quick drop out resulting from the onstage recording process and/or the ravages of tape degradation. For this release, we’ve selected a show that’s once again pretty damn clean, but as always, we’ve preserved what we could, doctored up what we’ve been able to, and in this ongoing process, have refused to let a minor blemish or two prevent the spreading of this amazing music. So sit back, settle in and enjoy Widespread Panic in their own backyard.
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