Widepsread Panic - Everyday 2LP
Widespread Panic's third album offers 14 southern-fried rock songs, some of which have become the band's most-loved show stoppers. It's also the first album to feature John "JoJo" Herman's bluesy key pecking. Everyday has been criticized for sounding too uniform. Each track does feature the band's signature loud guitar and bass, jam-rock style, but after a couple of listens the tracks distinguish themselves. From the softly driving "Pilgrims" to the bouncing exuberance of "Wondering," John Bell's emotive vocals and the meaningful lyrics take the listener on a journey through a series of vignettes. "Diner" is sung from the point of view of a bum while he watches the waitress. "She's like natural music anyway she moves," he sings. "Hatfield" is the true story of a Native American who was called upon to perform a rain dance during a draught in Los Angeles. The song begins very softly like raindrops and builds into a lightening storm of guitar and percussive sounds. The poignant "Papa's Home" is perhaps the best example of how Widespread Panic can begin a song softly and build it into an all-out jam, with the help of percussionist Domingo "Sonny" Ortiz's skin slapping. Everyday is considered by fans to be one of the band's best albums, despite its very limited radio play. The subtlety of the band's style is unaltered on this disc. The slice-of-life story lyrics, the tight musicianship that builds and falls with the songs' emotions, and extended song length are all unhampered by the pressure for a radio friendly sound.