If bands like Phish and the String Cheese Incident are the jam-rock world's equivalent of spaceships seeking to transport listeners to new dimensions, Widespread Panic are the genre's answer to a pickup truck -- unfussy, unfancy, but guaranteed to get you where you need to go, whatever the terrain. Here, the Dixie-bred combo returns to the indie ranks and departs -- at times -- from its traditional mid-tempo choogle to examine the realms of Crescent City funk ("Thought Sausage") and sunny Iberian groove ("Casa del Grillo"). Widespread haven't, however, lost their flair for the loping, back-porch boogie on which they built their following. Here, frontman John Bell guides the sextet through renditions both sweet (the folksy "Old Joe") and spicy (the driving, slide-laced "Give"), even stopping to pay tribute to spiritually kindred workingmen fIREHOSE (via a cover of that band's "Sometimes"). Don't Tell the Band may be built for comfort, not for speed, but sitting back and letting the Panic wash over you can be mighty refreshing at the end of a long day.
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Don't Tell the Band based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Twelve songs and it sounds like 12 different bands. Widespread Panic is basic rock & roll, but everything sounds fresh. ''This Part of Town'' has made the radio, but it isn't the only good tune. Good stuff.