Widespread Panic — „Miss Kitty’s Lounge“ (May 20th, 2022)USA FLAG                                             Widespread Panic — „Miss Kitty’s Lounge“ (May 20th, 2022)
⇑  Po úspěchu jejich debutového alba Space Wrangler (1988 Landslide Records) zahájili Widespread Panic to, co se ukázalo být prubířským kámenem proslulé kariéry a turné, kdy lámali rekordy v návštěvnosti po celé zemi. Během nějaké vzácné chvíle mimo cest v roce 1990 band, kterou tehdy tvořil John Bell, Dave Schools, Michael Houser, Todd Nance a Domingo „Sunny“ Ortiz, požádal dlouholetého přítele/producenta/spolupracovníka Johna Keana, aby nahrál a pomohl s produkcí kvalitních demáčů pro labely, které projevily zájem o kvintet.
Location: Athens, GA
Album release: May 20th, 2022
Record Label: Widespread Records
Duration:     72:53
01. A of D   3:00
02. C. Brown   5:48
03. Rock   4:39
04. Pigeons   5:29
05. Holden Oversoul   3:38
06. Proving Ground   6:25
07. The Last Straw   4:43
08. Love Tractor   5:15
09. Machine   3:15
10. Barstools and Dreamers   8:56
11. Contentment Blues   5:17
12. Impossible   5:05
13. LA   3:42
14. Conrad   7:41

By Mike O’Cull
⇑  Epic live rockers Widespread Panic are giving their huge, dedicated fan base an up~close look and listen to an early but crucial part of their career with the release of Miss Kitty’s Lounge. The new record is out on Widespread Records and contains 14 tracks recorded in 1990 that were meant to be demos for interested labels following the success of the band’s 1988 debut effort Space Wrangler.
⇑  The sessions were captured with the help of band friend/producer/collaborator John Keane and featured guest appearances by Page McConnell of Phish on keyboards, Randall Bramlett on saxophone, and Keane, himself, on pedal steel guitar. It all went down during an infrequent pause in Panic’s near~constant touring schedule and ultimately led to the band’s first deal with Capricorn Records, which put out their next six titles.
⇑  Rediscovered, remixed, and remastered, Miss Kitty’s Lounge shows us what the then~current band lineup of John Bell, David Schools, Michael Houser, Todd Nance, and Domingo “Sunny” Ortiz were evolving at that moment. The band was coming into its own way of being for the first time in those days and everything was just beginning to unfold. For devoted fans, this set is a priceless historical document.
⇑  Speaking of devoted fans, Widespread Panic has made a whole lot of them since first coming into being in 1986. The group has sold over 4 million albums and put out a mind~blowing total of 56 records: 12 studio, one compilation, and 48 live. Widespread Panic also holds attendance records at several major venues across the country, including Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Golden, Colorado (63 straight sellouts), Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia (18 sellouts), Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana (32 headline shows), and Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Pelham, Alabama (20 sellouts). They have even launched their own successful label, Widespread Records, which uses a business model that’s been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, Small Business Magazine, Variety, CNN, CNBC Squawk Box, Fox Business, and Billboard Magazine.
⇑  The songs on Miss Kitty’s Lounge rock with the energy of a young band that has already become something special. The strummy opener “A of D” begins as a straightforward hippie instrumental but becomes unexpectedly majestic halfway through. It expands into an entirely different area that displays musicality and songwriting muscle. You know how sometimes you can just tell about a band? This is one of those times.
⇑  “C. Brown” is a graceful, mid~tempo story song enhanced by Keane’s soaring pedal steel work. When it opens up into the solo sections, the song really starts to breathe and raises both intensity and expectations. Panic rides the tune’s dynamics up and down as a single living thing as the lyrics flow by and you can’t help but be pulled along. It’s a sprawling, beautiful track that could only come from this crew.
⇑  The swampy “Rock” is hypnotic and throws down an edged~up Southern attitude that’s nothing but cool. The jam in the middle is impressive, letting the bass and guitars roam freely but never breaking Panic’s spell. You can hear their last two years of touring in the way the members play together and in how much each individually contributes. Clearly, these guys are onto something big. They’re working with no net or filter and it’s glorious. 
⇑  “Love Tractor” is prime funk/rock built on an octave bass line that shifts into heavier bits that could almost be called Southern Prog. The chops are strong but the grooves are more kinetic and push hard into the heart of the band. One spin and you won’t remember what hit you.
⇑  Panic fans will want to obsess over every second of Miss Kitty’s Lounge but a quick list of highlights would have to include “The Last Straw,” “Machine,” and “Impossible.” At the moment these songs went to tape, Panic still had a world to conquer and you can feel how ready they are to do it in every note they play. Highly recommended.
⇑  https://www.rockandbluesmuse.com/2022/05/25/review-widespread-panic-miss-kittys-lounge/
⇑  https://www.gratefulweb.com/articles/widespread-panic-red-rocks-6272014-review-photos
Bio: https://www.allmusic.com/artist/widespread-panic-mn0000257141/biography
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