Album Review: Widespread Panic, "Widespread Panic"

With their roots very much in the guitar-based Rock N Roll of the late Sixties/ early Seventies, Georgia's WIDESPREAD PANIC have created a work of fresh originality, quite diverse from your typical Southern Rock band.

Although embedded in Blues and R&B and the Country mood of counterparts and peers, they've managed to add an extra dimension to their sound, encompassing a very rhythmic drive and an expansive variation with the use of guitars, Michael Houser's biting solos are reminiscent of Greg Alman, or even HENDRIX (Yeah he's that good!). And with the subtle mood of the late night organ, lingering low in the mix, the band make a wild collision of psychedelically tinged Blues-based stompers.

While the mechanics of Blues and R&B are usually predictable, the boys have somehow avoided a formulistic route, and go through some superb patterns of swing and drama. The album jumps from extremes, with the soft magical beauty of 'Mercy,'  to the more up-beat confusion of 'Pigeons.' Even on the less inspiring songs, they still retain that ability to keep you listening. With excellent changes in pulse and feel, and a positive approach, they display all the signs of real professionals

No disappointments, this is a very strong album.

Grade B+

Mike Harris
Riff Raff
November 1991

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