Widespread Panic Sticks With Festival Plan
In the wake of last weekend's death of founding guitarist Michael Houser, renowned jam band Widespread Panic will go on with its Seven Fiddlers Music Festival this weekend as planned. The finale of thIn the wake of last weekend's death of founding guitarist Michael Houser, renowned jam band Widespread Panic will go on with its Seven Fiddlers Music Festival this weekend as planned. The finale of the band's summer tour, the two-day event will kick off tomorrow (Aug. 17) in Greenwood Village, Col.
As previously reported, the event will feature sets by Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Steel Pulse, and Keller Williams tomorrow, and Ben Harper, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and Angelique Kidjo on Sunday. Widespread Panic will headline each night with guitarist George McConnell, a longtime friend of the group, playing in Houser's place as he did through the balance of the group's summer tour.
Houser was laid to rest Monday in Athens, Ga., with more than 100 family members and close friends in attendance at the private funeral. Singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt, who teamed with Panic on two albums under the name Brute, reportedly performed a heart-wrenching version of the second album's "Expiration Day" with the band's Jojo Hermann. Panic vocalist John Bell and gospel artist Dottie Peoples also performed during the ceremony.
Widespread Panic is also planning a fall tour, tentatively set to kick off around Halloween. It is unknown if McConnell will permanently fill Houser's position or if the band will look further outside its tight-knit circle for his replacement.