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Widespread Panic: Dirty Side Down

Widespread Panic have always been a solid act, especially on the live scene where their concerts more often than not turn into mind blowing excursions of jam, hard rock, prog, blues, jazz, Southern rock, psychedelia, and country, appealing to anyone into The Allman Brothers Band, Phish, Govt Mule, and The Grateful Dead. Dirty Side Down is their most recent studio release, and it's a very enjoyable collection of styles that shows Panic's penchant for memorable melodies, catchy hooks, as well as blazing musical fireworks.

Opener "Saint Ex" is a varied tune, kicking off quite rootsy before Jimmy Herring comes crashing into the mix with some snarling, almost doomy hard rock riffs. Plenty of tasty lead work from Mr. Herrring on this one, as well as a wild organ solo courtesy of John Hermann. Hermann, drummer Todd Nance, and second guitarist John Bell make a great vocal team, laying down some fine melodies on the rocking "North" (where Herring once again displays why he's one of the most underrated guitarists around-this guy can shred!), and adding some soothing flavors to the country rock of the title track. "Visiting Day" is like a cross between The Marshall Tucker Band and Dead, featuring layers of vocals and some searing slide guitar from Herring, while the instrumental "St. Louis" features some splendid picking from Herring & Bell, supported by Hermann's tender keyboards. Jerry Garcia & Dickey Betts fans will just adore this piece. It leads into the grinding Southern Rocker "Shut Up and Drive", another song with plenty of tasty guitar solos and fiery jams. Those who like the pop side of Widespread Panic's arsenal will love "True to My Nature" as well as the country-fried-funk of "Jaded Tourist". Herring unleashes some monstrous solos on closer "Cotton Was King", an excellent rocker that has plenty of jazzy elements as well.

Classy instrumentation, emotional vocals, catchy hooks, and of course plenty of jamming, that's what you get on the very fine Dirty Side Down. Widespread Panic once again putting together a collection of songs that will probably fall under the radar of the general music public, but will certainly please their loyal fanbase. Guitar freaks-Jimmy Herring is all over this one, so dig in deep.


Track Listing
1. Saint Ex 6:47
2. North 5:43
3. Dirty Side Down 3:57
4. This Cruel Thing 4:30
5. Visiting Day 5:27
6. Clinic Cynic 4:35
7. St. Louis 2:52
8. Shut Up And Drive 6:44
9. True To My Nature 4:54
10. When You Coming Home 5:37
11. Jaded Tourist 4:28
12. Cotton Was King 5:52

Added: April 13th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2141
Language: english

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