Widespread Panic made two appearances in New Orleans yesterday. First up was a performance at the Jazz & Heritage Festival, which opened with “Love Tractor” and featured classic material like “Space Wrangler,” “Walkin’ (For Your Love)” and “Tall Boy.” Guesting with the group was friend John Keane, the producer of the band’s forthcoming Dirty Side Down, who added pedal steel to “Down” and “Ain’t Life Grand.” In addition, he band enlisted the horn attack of the Megablasters for “Up All Night,” “Tall Boy,” “Good People,” “On Your Way Down,” “Bust It Big,” “Ophelia” and “You Should Be Glad.”
Later in the evening Panic keyboardist JoJo Hermann brought his Mardi Gras Band to The Howlin’ Wolf for an event called Down on the Bayou II, which raised funds for the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic. During the Hermann’s set, all of his Panic band mates joined him for a jam that segued into Dr. John’s “I Walk On Guilded Splinters.”
Looking ahead, the band has confirmed a number of Dirty Side Down listening parties, which will take place nationwide in late May. Finally, to learn a bit about the new album, check out Randy Ray’s interview with John Bell, which just posted to the site.