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WIDESPREAD PANIC Earth To America Sanctuary (2006)

This band, along with other jam bands like Phish and Blues Traveller are unique US phenomena in that they pull huge arena sized crowds yet in Europe they play the smaller venues. Quite why this is I am not sure especially when the band is as good as Widespread Panic.

Take the opening track 'Second Skin', lots of sublime guitar soloing coupled with a gentle chorus, not dissimilar to a Buck Dharma penned Blue Oyster Cult tune.

In fact a 'dream' partnership for me would be Widespread Panic teaming up with BOC. 'Solid Rock' just does that whilst John Bell's vocals are the highlight on 'Good People'.

This time around the band has kept their trademark laid back side but added strings and slightly more emphasis on the guitar parts.

Widespread Panic are a band waiting to be discovered widely here in the UK and Europe and this album could well be the one to break them out of the niche.

Along with their 'Don't Tell The Band' album a pretty essential CD for any collection, especially BOC fans!


Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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