Widespread Panic Information
Widespread Panic, the southern jam rock band, are returning to the road again. For a band that has done 18 non stop years of touring, pausing only for studio sessions and Christmas vacations, they are hoping to add more venues to their sold out show roster. Widespread Panic is known to play as many as 250 shows yearly. They've been ranked in the top 50 grossing touring acts without the luxuries of substantial airplay, television exposure, or promotion at retail stores. WP has sold over 3 million albums, released 15 CD's, and 5 DVD's over their almost 20 year long career.
The founding members, WP guitarist and singer John Bell, late guitarist Michael Houser, and bassist Dave Schools began as a weekly jam session at the Uptown Lounge in Athens, GA. Houser and Bell played a duo before inviting other members to join WP. The name, Widespread Panic, came from Houser's nickname, "Panic". The band started playing cover tunes by the Grateful Dead, Van Morrison, Bob Marley, and Traffic with original songs added into their sets. Their debut album, "Space Wrangler" established a small fan base but it took several years of touring before the band was signed to Capricorn Records. WP's major self titled label debuted in 1991.
WP appeared at the H.O.R.D.E. Festival a few times adding to the bands popularity. The festival was touring with traveling headliners that gave exposure to bands, charities, and organizations from the local areas of the concerts.