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Widespread Panic - Light Fuse, Get Away

  by Carl Bookstein

published: 23 / 12 / 2017

Widespread Panic - Light Fuse, Get Away
Label: Select Label
Format: N/A


Carl Bookstein examines American jam band Widespread Panic's recently reissued 1998 live album 'Light Fuse, Get Away'

Originally released in 1998, 'Light Fuse, Get Away; is the first ever live album from American jam band Widespread Panic and a double CD reissue. Widespread Panic here is John Bell (Vocals, Guitars), John Hermann (Keyboards, Vocals), Michael Houser (Guitars, Vocals), Todd Nance (Drums), Domingo S. Ortiz (Percussion, Vocals) and David Schools (Bass, Vocals). With an ecstatic audience cheering in the backdrop, this Widespread Panic set begins with 'Porch Song', and is drawn from various concerts by the band in the year 1997. “Having a good time/Watching the sunshine,” is the lyric. The opening track witnesses the band capturing a heavy dose of feel good vibes. Stinging guitar, rhythmic keys and great musicianship illustrate a legendary jam band at an apex high point. This flows right into 'Disco' which shows the band positively pulsating with interstellar rhythms. 'Diner' is a story song, describing a woman who is the essence of light and nature. “Oh she’s beautiful, cooking in the diner today… my backbone shivers… some come in just to breathe… basking in her light.” Heat-seeking electric guitar reverberates. 'Wondering' features fine piano playing, a rollicking backbeat and in synch drumming- another first rate number. 'Love Tractor' includes impassioned singing about “feeling alright” and the “engine just getting warm.” “Teach me how to feel” is the lyric, backed by wailing guitar and heavy drumming into a closing crescendo. 'Pilgrims' speaks to leaving superstition behind: “The (black) crows just drifters across my window.” 'Space Wrangler' showcases fine imagery of time machines and divine grace: “A little wrangler was born… peaceful dreams now.” Widespread Panic channels the jam band flow of such historic greats as the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band. Phish too comes to mind. 'Travelin’ Light' speaks of paradise: “When we slow down to ecstasy… travelin’ light is the only way to fly.” 'Pickin’ Up the Pieces' features gorgeous saxophone playing by guest star Branford Marsalis, with soloing that is inspired, evocative and true. The closer of disc one, 'Conrad' is a straight ahead rocker and a solid vehicle for Widespread Panic’s train of momentum and electric guitar heroics. On disc two 'Rebirtha' is strong. “It’s not your first time” is the lyric. 'Impossible/ Jam' is an evolving organic instrumental, with more charging guitar based rock and roll and resonant bass - segueing into an extended drums solo. A slower number, 'Gimme' is hypnotic and dream inducing: “Gimme a hand dear Michael… I’ll give you my heart.” In the end, 'Light Fuse, Get Away' is a truly worthy reissue, showcasing Widespread Panic at their live in concert best.

Track Listing:-

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Widespread Panic - Light Fuse, Get Away

Widespread Panic - Light Fuse, Get Away

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Live from Austin, Texas, 31/10/2000 (2009)
Widespread Panic - Live from Austin, Texas, 31/10/2000
Widepread Panic's latest DVD, which is being released as part of the 'Austin, Texas' series, was recorded in 2000 and was one of the last shows of member Michael Houser, who died less than two years later of pancreatic cancer. Malcolm Carter finds it a poignant, but timely reminder of a lost talent

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