The next release in Widespread Panic’s Porch Songs archival series captures a relatively recent pair of shows: June 19 and 20, 2001. The shows took place at Paolo Soleri in Santa Fe, NM a year before guitarist Michael Houser’s untimely passing. The band’s archivist Horace Moore explains:
Paolo Soleri, Santa Fe, New Mexico June 19 & 20, 2001 Porch Songs, Volume 2, is ready to roll. We’ve opened up 2001 with two performances from one of the top fan-favorite venues in the US…. The first show on June 19th catches Widespread Panic in one of those unpredictable spots in time when the venue, the crowd, the band…and the weather…combine for one of those intimate, yet dark and dirty shows. The following night on the 20th, JB greets the crowd with the notion that maybe they will be struck by sunshine…no doubt a reference to the craziness the night before. And then the band proceeds to lay down another smoker. Imagine that.
Technically speaking, we’ve done what we could with these soundboard dat recordings. We’ve dealt with digital noise issues, seemingly cracking guitar amps at a few points, and obviously some weather…to describe a few challenges that popped up here and there. You might notice some of these fixes and some you might not. One magic spot to focus on would be the beginning of “Don’t Be Denied” which starts the second set on the 19th. In one sense of magic, it’s pretty cool that, given the first set “The Take Out” opener, it appears that they were ready to end that set with “Porch Song.” That is until the weather would not cooperate and forced the band to shut down set one after “Proving Ground”. So, magically, we get the “Don’t Be Denied” as the set two opener with a “Porch Song” to follow. Guess we were not going to be denied that “Porch Song.” The only problem with all of that was the record button on the dat deck didn’t get pressed until a few seconds into that first verse. So, we get an audience recording to start it off and then a nicely engineered segue back into the soundboard recording. I think it came off sounding pretty cool and even provides somewhat of a comparison of how a soundboard recording can get you where you need to be when that weather is pushing all that air around. So, even with some of the snaps, crackles and pops we had to contend with in getting these recordings ready to go, Paolo Soleri is one of those “common denominator” shows that needed some love. ….so we gave it ours.