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Published: 2002/12/23

2002 In Review: The Jambands.com News

Here is a look back at the events of 2002 through representative stories from the Jambands.com News Department. We tried to strike a balance between all of the various events, bands, regions, etc. Plus, we dropped in some of our April 1 stories as well…

1/8
Phil & Friends Enter the Studio, Spring Tour Planned
Phil Lesh & Friends are currently in California recording material for their first studio album. The band's line-up features Lesh on bass, Warren Haynes and Jimmy Herring on guitar, John Molo on drums and Rob Barraco on keyboards. The album will be comprised primarily of new compositions. "There's a lot of material," says Haynes. "Phil's written a few songs by himself, a few songs with Robert Hunter and I have a couple of songs that are ready to go. I know Barraco has some material that's ready and I know Jimmy and John have some ideas floating around. Maybe we can even do some collaborating for that. Everybody's excited about it."

1/17
Widespread Panic Documentary to Debut
A new film on Widespread Panic will be released this spring. Titled, The Earth Will Swallow You, the movie features footage from the band's summer 2000 tour, both on and off stage. Special guest performances by Jorma Kaukonen, Taj Mahal, Vic Chestnutt and Col. Bruce Hampton are also included.

1/23
Phish to Appear on The Simpsons April 7
The four members of Phish will be featured on The Simpsons, scheduled to air April 7. The episode, "Weekend at Burnsie's," involves Homer Simpson becoming addicted to medical marijuana and Phish plays a decriminalization rally. The show will feature a live version of "Run Like an Antelope." "We requested that song and [Phish] gave us that version," says Simpsons executive producer Al Jean. "I don't want people to think it's ten minutes long or anything. We're a half-hour show, but it is in the episode. I thought it was a really great version." The specific date of the "Antelope" used on the show remains a mystery, for now.
A preview of the episode including the complete Al Jean interview and a full-page color illustration appears in the new issue of Relix, on newsstands now.

1/30
Special Guests to Appear on Upcoming Dirty Dozen Brass Band Release
Dirty Dozen Brass Band will release its new album, Medicated Magic, April 23 on Ropedope Records. The CD will include special guest appearances by Widespread Panic, Dr. John, Robert Randolph, DJ Logic, Olu Dara and Nora Jones.

2/4
Gathering of the Vibes 2002 Line-up Announced
The line-up for this year's Gathering of the Vibes has just been announced. The festival will take place July 4 7 at Indian Lookout Country Club in Mariaville, NY. Confirmed acts include Phil & Friends, Gov't Mule, Soulive, Les Claypool, Steve Kimock Band, Third World, Deep Banana Blackout, Strangefolk, Warren Haynes (solo acoustic), Merl Saunders & Friends, Lake Trout, Zen Tricksters, Max Creek, Peter Prince (solo), Reid Genauer (solo), Bomb Squad, Grapes of Vaudevillian Fantasy, Lightning Wells, Fuzz & Stephen Kellogg, Aaron Katz Band, Deni Bonet, Jess Klein, John Mooney, The Rafter Bats and Mo Fro.

"We made a conscious decision to reduce the size of the Gathering in 2002," says Terrapin Presents owner Ken Hays. "Our goal is to increase the intimacy of the festival and get back to what it once had, which was a gathering made up exclusively of friends. We anticipate tickets selling out well in advance and they will not be available at the show. We've added a fourth day of music culminating with a performance by Third World. Music will end at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday and we're asking folks to pack up and leave by sundown. For fans that joined us at The Summit last summer and waited for hours to get in, we apologize. We have resolved the problem and invite people to join us this Fourth of July weekend."

2/12
Lo Faber Band Announces Winter Tour; Plans Summer Rock Opera Performance
The Lo Faber Band has released its winter tour itinerary. The band consists of Faber (God Street Wine), Todd Pasternack (Ominous Seapods), Tom Pirozzi (Ominous Seapods), Ted Marotta (Ominous Seapods), Angela Ford, Devin Greenwood and Dave Eggars. The group's winter tour kicks off this Saturday at Club Caroline in Saratoga, NY and will include multiple dates in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.

Meanwhile, plans are in the works for a theatrical adaptation of the band's double album, Henry's House. Artistic director Kevin McGuire (Les Miserables) has been working with Faber recently to choreograph the rock opera, which will be performed this summer at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, NY. "I couldn't be more excited to be working with Kevin McGuire and to be taking my music into a world that's totally new," says Faber. "After 12 years of playing in clubs with God Street Wine, I'm thrilled to finally be able to present my music in an entirely new realm."

2/20
DJ Logic to Tour with Ratdog
DJ Logic has been confirmed to perform with Ratdog on its upcoming tour, which kicks off this Saturday, February 23 at the Vic Theater in Chicago. Logic also joined the band during its holiday run at the end of December. The upcoming tour will include stops in Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Missouri and Iowa.

3/5
Mark Vann Passes Away at the Age of 39
Leftover Salmon's Mark Vann passed away yesterday afternoon at his Colorado home. He had been battling cancer since last year. Vann's family was at his side at the time of his passing. He was 39.

Mark was born December 28, 1962 in Rockville, Maryland to parents Ricki and Bryant Vann. His life changed forever on July 4, 1972 when he heard Carl Pagter play the five string banjo at the Festival of American Folklife. Soon afterwards, Mark formed his first band with his brother Mike on mandolin, his father on guitar, and mother on upright bass. As his appetite for music grew, his parents sought out other musicians in the D.C. area to help him along. The area is home to lots of bluegrass and they were quite successful at keeping him musically fueled.

When Mark went off to college his band The Farmers Trust Company kept him sufficiently distracted to save him from a life of academia and lead him further down the bluegrass highway. After two years of college Mark retreated to the Piney Pines of Northern Virginia where he built himself a one room cabin and played the banjo all day for two years.

It was during this time that he met Jennifer Loud while on a trip to upstate New York. Love eventually lured him out of the woods, and he and Jennifer started a carpentry business, bought a home, got a dog, and began their lives together.

It was on a trip to Telluride, Colorado in 1989 that he won the banjo contest and met Drew Emmitt and Vince Herman pickin' late night at the campground. Mark was enticed from his home and business by his new friends who convinced him he needed to play banjo for a living. Soon he and Jennifer loaded up the truck and headed for Colorado to join the Left Hand String Band. Shortly afterwards, Leftover Salmon was born, and thus began life on the road.

For the next twelve years Mark brought the banjo to whole new audiences and genres of music. He quickly became one of the most respected players in his field and brought immense joy to those lucky enough to hear him.

A celebration of his life will take place at an as yet to be determined date in the spring. Mark lived life to its fullest and he would insist that we do so as well. He will be greatly missed and will continue to be an inspiration to many to "go big!"

Rest well our brother,

Vince Herman
Leftover Salmon

A fund has been set up to offset costs of Mr. Vann's treatment.. Donations, cards, and letters can be sent to P.O. Box 393, Nederland, CO 80466.

3/15
Initial 17 Acts Confirmed for Bonnaroo Music Festival
The initial line-up for the Bonnaroo music festival has been confirmed. The 3-day camping event will take place June 21-23 on a 500-acre farm in Manchester, TN. Artists performing include Widespread Panic, Trey Anastasio, String Cheese Incident, moe., Ben Harper, Soulive, Galactic, Gov't Mule, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Jack Johnson, Les Claypool's Frog Brigade, North Mississippi Allstars, Keller Williams Incident, Triple Threat DJs, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, and the Blind Boys of Alabama. The festival is being produced by New Orleans-based Superfly Presents and Knoxville's A.C. Entertainment. Additional acts will be announced.
Dr. John popularized the word "bonnaroo," a Creole term with positive connotations, with the release of his 1974 album, Desitively Bonnaroo.

3/22
Wetlands’ VW Bus Installed in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The famous VW bus from Wetlands Preserve was installed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night in Cleveland, OH. The bus, still plastered with hundreds of band stickers, is positioned at the entrance of the museum between ZZ Top's truck and Janis Joplin's Corvet. The Phish hot dog also hangs above it. "I have so many great memories from Wetlands," says former owner Pete Shapiro. "But one of my best experiences was walking in the museum last night and seeing the bus. It was surreal. At one point, I put my hand on it and a security officer instructed me not to touch it. It's now under the watchful eye of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

The display includes a plaque, which details the history of Wetlands. The venue closed last September.

3/25
Ricky Skaggs, Bill Kreutzmann Sit in with String Cheese Incident
Ricky Skaggs and Bill Kreutzmann were among the special guests to join String Cheese Incident Saturday at The Fillmore in Denver, CO. Skaggs (mandolin) Bobby Hicks (fiddle) and Jim Mills (banjo) performed on "Nine Pound Hammer" and "Hold What You've Got" midway through the first set. Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead) added percussion during "Land's End," which segued into an extended drum solo towards the end of the second set. Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder opened the show.

**************************April 1 Interlude************************

The Simpsons to Announce Hiatus
This Sunday's episode of The Simpsons will include a major development involving the future of the show. Guest stars Phish will announce that the program will go on hiatus following this season. The decision was made when Fox executives realized that the show hit its creative peak in the mid 90s and has now lost its spark. Sources say Lisa Simpson plans to spend her time away from the show working with the Springfield Youth Orchestra.

Alleged Jerry Garcia Guitar Surfaces, No Lawsuits Expected Over "Lamb Chop"
As litigation continues regarding the ownership and tax status of "Wolf" and "Tiger," a New Mexico man has announced the discovery of a "lost" Garcia guitar he has dubbed "Lamb Chop." Nicholas "Gemini Sage" Johnson III, a rain stick magnate claims that he designed the guitar for Garcia, who used it in some undisclosed parking lots during the mid-1980's. "At least it was somebody who looked like Jerry," Johnson notes. At present, however, the provenance of the guitar remains suspect, as does the purported mother of pearl inlay which looks suspiciously like Sharpie marker. The design is oddly reminiscent of both a baby-sheep steak and the popular children's sock puppet . A representative for the estate of Shari Lewis adds, "This is wrong in so many ways."

"Tiger" and "Wolf" will be on display at the Relix Auction Preview and Benefit at New York's Theater 99 on April 11. There is no word on the possible appearance of "Lamb Chop."

Ulu Announces Reunion Tour With Original Rhythm Section; Jiggle To Open Shows
Departed ulu founders bassist Justice Wallace and drummer David Hoffman will rejoin the group for a reunion tour. The pair, which last performed with ulu on Saturday March 30 at New York's Knitting Factory, will join Scott Chasolen (keyboards) and Aaron Gardner (saxophone/flute) for a month of shows beginning in mid-April with the full itinerary to be announced soon. Jiggle will open most of the dates

Raq Concert Film Announced
Once We Were Shadraq an IMAX concert film that documents the life and music of Burlington-based Raq is expected to premiere later this summer. Principal photography has been completed on the film, with more than 250 CGI special effects to be added in post-production. Peter Shapiro is executive producer of the project which he deems "a logical follow-up" to his All Access film. Despite rampant speculation, there remains no confirmation as to whether Raq will perform at the Bonnaroo Music Festival.

Keller Williams To Break Up
Keller Williams has decided to part ways, with a final performance expected at the Bonnarroo Music festival. While it's unclear where the separation will take place, many anticipate a dorsal division. No statement has been released on the cause of the break-up, although many point to the classic right brain/left brain conflict as well as an inability to wrest kellerwilliams.com from a real estate company.

***********************************************************************
4/10
Trey Anastasio to Appear on Letterman, Last Call with Carson Daly
Trey Anastasio has been confirmed to perform on The Late Show with David Letterman and Last Call with Carson Daly. He will appear on Letterman May 2 (CBS 11:35 EST) and Last Call on June 24 (NBC 1:35 a.m. EST). Trey will be promoting his self-titled debut on Elektra.

4/18
Kid Rock Performs with Gov’t Mule
Kid Rock took the stage with Gov't Mule last night at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. Rock added vocals to Marshall Tucker Band's "Can't You See" (with Audley Freed on guitar), Black Sabbath's "Sweat Leaf" and "War Pigs" to close the set. The songs also featured former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted. Allman Brothers percussionist Marc Quinones joined the band for "Mule" earlier in the show. Other previously announced guests included Stefan Lessard (Dave Matthews Band) and Robert Randolph

4/26
Sound Tribe Sector 9 To Play Three Dates in Japan
Sound Tribe Sector 9 has confirmed that it will perform three dates in Japan this May. The quintet will play two shows in Tokyo, at Aoyama Cay on May 23 and at Differ Ariake on May 24. The group will then participate in the Lunatic Outdoor Picnic Festival in the Gifu Province on May 25.

5/3
moe. Welcomes Gov’t Mule to the Stage
NEW ORLEANS The full line-up of Gov't Mule took the stage during moe.'s show last night at the Orpheum Theatre. Warren Haynes joined moe. for "Opium" during the second set. Towards the end of the song, Dave Schools walked on stage and moe. bassist Rob Derhak handed him his bass. Rob Barraco then took over on Al Schnier's keyboard rig and Matt Abts appeared on drums. As the members of moe. left the stage, (drummer Vinnie Amico and percussionist Jim Loughlin remained to play percussion) Gov't Mule segued into its original, "Thorazine Shuffle." One by one, moe. eventually returned and segued into "St. Augustine."

The members of Jazz Mandolin Project sat in with moe. during the first set for "High and Low" and "Kyle's Song."

5/12
More Bands Added to Berkfest; Shockra to Reunite
Several new acts have been confirmed to perform at the Berkshire Mountain Music Festival, which will be held August 9 11 at Butternut Basin Ski Area in Great Barrington, MA. Additions to the line-up include The New Deal, Addison Groove Project, Reid Genauer Band, Aaron Katz Band, Railroad Earth, Particle, Psychedelic Breakfast, Mountain of Venus, Moonraker, The Abyssinnians and Dean Bowman (of Screaming Headless Torsos).

Shockra will also play a reunion show at Berkfest. The band, which broke up in the spring of 1994, features Dave Watts (The Motet), Edwin Hurwitz (Skin), Felix Rentschler (Heavy Metal Horns, Another Planet), Dan Coutu (Ibrahima), Korel Tunador (Crisis Car), Jeff Grove, and Dave Dickenson.

5/21
Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir to Reunite as The Other Ones
The surviving members of The Grateful Dead have announced that they will reunite as The Other Ones for two shows this summer. Billed as "Terrapin Station, A Grateful Dead Family Reunion," the concerts will be held August 3 and 4 at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in Easy Troy, WI. The band, which will play two sets on both days, features Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir, as well as guitarist Jimmy Herring (Phil and Friends), keyboardist Jeff Chimenti (Ratdog) and keyboardist Rob Barraco (Phil and Friends). Other main stage acts include Phil and Friends, Ratdog, Mickey Hart and Bembrisha, Bill Kreutzmann's TriChromes, and Robert Hunter.

"We started rehearsing this week and I'm excited," says Lesh. "This is going to be very, very good."

There will also be a second stage featuring performances by The Disco Biscuits, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Donna The Buffalo, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Warren Haynes (acoustic) and Jorma Kaukonen (acoustic).

6/7
Bonnaroo Music Festival to Offer Free Daily Newspaper
Relix Magazine and Jambands.com will produce an 8-page daily newspaper on site at the Bonnaroo Music Festival, which will be held June 21 23 in Manchester, TN. The Bonnaroo Beacon is believed to be the first daily publication created specifically for a music festival. The paper will be published for four days (beginning Thursday June 20, when gates open) and will include extensive coverage of the event, including show reviews, interviews, weather, photography, box scores and comics. It is free of charge to festival attendees and will be available at several locations on site, including the Relix tent. For those not going to Bonnaroo, Jambands.com will post daily updates from the festival.

6/11
Alpine Valley Grateful Dead Reunion in Jeopardy
Earlier this afternoon, the Walworth County Highway Committee voted to deny a license for "Terrapin Station – A Grateful Dead Family Reunion," which was scheduled to take place Aug. 3 – 4 at Alpine Valley in East Troy, WI. "At this point in time the concert will not be taking place," Odell Gigante, Chairman of the Highway Committee told Jambands.com. "The entire county is 93,000 people. How can we have twice as many people? The venue handles 35-50,000 people, but it was reported that there was going to be over 200,000 people coming in for the show from all over the country. We just don't have law enforcement."

Tickets to the event went on sale to the public this past Saturday and sold out in less than an hour. "They did sell tickets without a license," says Michael Cotter, assistant corporation counsel for the county. "[Clear Channel] has done it before and it's kind of their risk. They've been operating this way for 10 years or so. It's never been a big deal to get this license, but the big deal arose with the whole Grateful Dead reunion show, which is bigger than a sold out Dave Matthews show in the view of the committee. The thing was being billed as the only time [the surviving members of The Grateful Dead] are getting together this year in North America and possibly ever. It's the show to be at, so I think that's where the concern came from."

Cotter says it is too early to tell if the concert will in fact be canceled. "There are some remedies that I'm sure Clear Channel/Alpine Valley will seek. They can appeal it to the executive committee of the county board, which would be another county board meeting, or my guess is that they'll try some circuit court action to try to get the concert to happen. The decision would either have to be overturned by the executive committee or by a court saying that the shows would go. How that happens would be up to Clear Channel."

Both Clear Channel Entertainment and Grateful Dead Productions were unavailable for comment. More details will be released as they become available.

6/24
Collaborations Take Center Stage at Bonnaroo
MANCHESTER, TN As one can imagine, there were several guest appearances over the weekend at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. Del McCoury and DJ Logic joined Robert Randolph and the Family Band on the Arena Stage Saturday for "Swing Low Sweet Chariot." Randolph later joined moe. for a marathon version of "Meat" during the late night set in The Ballroom. The Disco Biscuits' Marc Brownstein (bass) and Aron Magner (keyboards) also sat in with moe. for a jam that sequed out of "Recreational Chemistry." Umphey's McGee guitarist Brendan Bayliss emerged for part of "Rebubula," a song which Umphrey's used to cover. String Cheese Incident's Michael Kang (mandolin) and Michael Travis (percussion) the joined moe. for a version of Cracker's "Low" and "Bring It Back Home," which concluded the band's late performance shortly after 5 a.m.

Meanwhile, Galactic was rocking a late night show of its own in The Theatre. The band welcomed Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno to the stage as well as Logic and Randolph. At 4:30 a.m., Particle began its early morning show at the Cinema tent. Special guests included Brownstein, Jeff Raines and Stanton Moore of Galactic, guitarist Jake Cinninger (Umphrey's McGee) and guitarist Tim Palmieri (Psychedelic Breakfast). The set concluded around 8 a.m.

The Festival was an overwhelming success. Local authorities were very happy with the fans' behavior and the obvious increase in business. As of Sunday, only 14 arrests had been reported. Onsite, the vibe remained positive and the overall population acted incredibly responsibly. With the exception of a brief passing shower on Sunday, the weather was cooperative (bright sunshine with high temperatures reaching the lower 90s and dipping to the 60s at night). Festival promoters thanked the crowd last night prior to Trey Anastasio's performance and informed us that there will be another Bonnaroo next year, hopefully in the same location.

7/5
Guests Sit in with Widespread Panic; Houser Does Not Play
Several special guests sat in with Widespread Panic Wednesday at Summerfest in Wilwaukee, WI. Guitarist George McConnell and saxophonist Randall Bramblett joined the group for the entire show. Galactic's Rich Vogel (keyboards) and Theryl deClouet (vocals) performed on "Just Kissed My Baby" midway through the second set and drummer Stanton Moore emerged for an extended drum break.

Regular guitarist Mike Houser did not play and no official statement has been made. Brown Cat, Inc., the band's management company, would not comment on whether or not he would play tonight, when Widespread will appear at The Starlight Amphitheater in Kansas City, MO. The complete summer tour schedule is available at www.widespreadpanic.com.

7/9

Soulive’s Alan and Neal Evans Perform with Peter Prince
A former incarnation of Moon Boot Lover reunited Sunday at the Gathering of the Vibes as all four members of Soulive sat in with Peter Prince for "Further on Down the Road." Moon Boot's second line-up in 1997 featured Prince, bassist Jon Hawes and Neal and Alan Evans (now of Soulive). The quartet recorded Live Down Deep during this period. Hawes later left the group (he also played with Percy Hill for a while) leaving Moon Boot Lover as an organ trio. Sunday's reunion marked the first time Prince and the Evans brothers have performed together since Halloween of 97.

7/9

Friends Join The Slip at High Sierra
The Slip welcomed special guests to its set Friday night at the High Sierra Music Festival. Billed as "The Slip & Friends," the line-up included Leslie Helpert, Darol Anger, Fareed Haque and Jessica Lurie. Helpert added vocals to "Sometimes True to Nothing" and Lurie emerged to play saxophone on "Rhythm-a-ning." The Slip plays tomorrow at Sweetwater in Mill Valley, CA.

7/15
Galactic Recreates Three Complete Studio Albums at Freako in Rico
Galactic performed each of its three studio albums in their entirety during its three-night stand in Rico, CO last week. The shows, which were billed as Freako in Rico took place July 9 11 at the Rico Theatre. On the first night, the band played its debut album, Coolin' Off, a disc that features many songs that had never been performed live prior to Tuesday. On the following evening, Galactic performed Crazyhorse Mongoose and then rounded out the run Thursday with a live interpretation of Late for the Future.

7/23
Baby Charlie Trucks "Sits" in with Les Paul
Charlie Trucks, the near five-month old baby of Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, joined his parents on stage as they performed with Les Paul last night at the Iridium in New York City. Charlie sat on Les' lap for a portion of the set, while Susan and Derek collaborated with the band. In his short life, Charlie has now caught over twenty shows, mostly by the Derek Trucks Band and the Allman Brothers Band.
In other news, Mike Mattison (Scrapomatic) will sing with DTB all this week, including Camp Creek on Sunday. The release of the band's forthcoming album, Joyful Noise has been moved to September 3.

8/5
Rob Barraco Plays Guitar
Keyboardist Rob Barraco played acoustic guitar with Warren Haynes Saturday on the second stage at Alpine Valley in East Troy, WI. Barraco (Phil & Friends, The Other Ones) joined Warren during his solo acoustic set for "Stella Blue." Rob even took a few leads.

Barraco kept himself busy this weekend at Terrapin Station, playing four sets with The Other Ones and one set with Phil & Friends.

8/12
Michael Houser 1962 – 2002
The music community continues to mourn the loss of Widespread Panic guitarist Michael Houser, who died Saturday. Houser had been battling a terminal form of cancer and hadn't performed since July 2. Widespread Panic has posted the following statement on its website:
"In this very sad time, we encourage you to gather with your Panic families in your hometown and celebrate Michael Houser's life on Monday, August 12th. As a living memorial to Michael and his love of music, the family requests that contributions be made to The Michael Houser Music Fund. Mike, his wife Barbette, and his son Waker have all been deeply involved with Athens Academy and through this fund the school will be able to provide children with the opportunities to discover the richness and wonder of music that so enriched Michael's own life. Memorials may be sent to: The Michael Houser Music Fund; Athens Academy; PO Box 6548; Athens, GA 30604.
Our hearts are with you as we know that your thoughts and prayers are with us."

Musicians Remember Mikey
As friends and fans gather around the country to exchange stories of Widespread Panic's Michael Houser, Jambands.com spoke with some of the musicians that have shared the stage with him over the years.

Col. Bruce Hampton was the frontman for Aquarium Rescue Unit and later with The Fiji Mariners and The Codetalkers. ARU and Panic have a long history together and both toured with the HORDE Festival in 1992 and 1993. Hampton has appeared on stage with Widespread dozens of times, dating back to 1989:

"There was probably no better spirit anywhere. The courage he showed was just unbelievable. He was an inspiration to everybody. It's a tough time to talk about it, but he was just an amazing guy. I've known him 17 years and I wish I got to hang with him more. We went to ballgames together when neither one of us was working. He was just a quiet, courageous guy, to say the least. I don't have the guts to face what he faced. I talked to him about 3 months ago. We were the ones crying and he was the one keeping everybody above water. He's probably the strongest person I've ever encountered. He did everything in a quiet way. You just don't find people like him. They don't make that type anymore."

Guitarist Trey Anastasio of Phish performed with Widespread last October in Seattle and in November of 1993 in Los Angeles. Phish and Panic also played four shows together on the first leg of the inaugural HORDE tour in July of 1992 and opened various shows for each other in the early 90s:

"Michael Houser was truly one of the kindest and most beautiful people that I've ever met. I say that from the deepest part of my heart. He was unique. The first time I met him was backstage at the Roxy in Atlanta when Phish was opening for Panic. Dave Schools brought me into the dressing room and there he was, kneeling in front of his wife Barbette, who was sitting in a chair. They were holding hands and he was just lost in her eyes, radiating love. I've never forgotten that moment. She was pregnant with Waker at the time and it was like they were actually glowing, not even aware of all the noise and commotion around them. Just at peace, floating. He was capable of that kind of emotion and it was beautiful. Just a rare, beautiful thing. I know that people who love his music already know this. We'll all miss him terribly."

Rev. Jeff Mosier played banjo for Aquarium Rescue Unit and Blueground Undergrass. He's sat in with Panic three times, most recently alongside Col. Bruce in August of 2000 at Oak Mountain Amphitheatre in Pelham, AL. Mosier also credits the members of Widespread for the existence of BGUG, as their encouragement motivated him to form the band:

"He was one of the sweetest, nicest, most unassuming, egoless cats you'll ever meet. The reasons for him dying at this age are going on in another department of the universe, because we are certainly not able to understand it in this department. Aquarium Rescue Unit played with Panic in '89 and '90 and I've played with them a ton of times. Panic welcomed me and they always made me feel like I could rock as hard as anyone. When you're a banjo player, you need to have that. I give them credit for helping me understand that I could rock. The last time I played with them at Oak Mountain, while they were filming their video, I stood there right beside Mikey and he just had pure joy in everything he did. That was his home, sitting in that chair. He wasn't outgoing and he never really got that much into the press, but if you knew him and his wife, you'd just see that he underpinned the vibe of that band. He was one of those guitar players that always played in the music and was never written up for his ability, like a Jimmy Herring, but he underpinned the band's entire sound. Mikey represents the most pristine of all support musicians. Even though he was a fundamental part of the band, he was just an incredible supporter, not only in his stage presence, but by letting JB and Dave do their thing. Kind of like Mark Vann, you don't really notice it until he's gone."

Drew Emmitt plays mandolin, fiddle and guitar for Leftover Salmon, a band that recently had to deal with the passing of one of its own members, banjoist Mark Vann. Drew sat in with Widespread Panic twice in July of 1998 in Charlotte, NC and Cleveland, OH. He also joined them in October of '96 and June of '97:

"We did some touring with Panic and I got to sit in with them a bunch, which was really great. When I'd sit in, I'd sit down with Mikey and he'd show me the chords to the tunes. I remember one time in particular, sitting on his tour bus, just the two of us and we just really connected. I remember him telling me that in high school he was the only musician that could play all of "Freebird." He knew the whole solo and I just thought that was really cool and really funny. He said that was his claim to fame in school and we were laughing about that…It's hard to imagine the band going on, in their case and in our case because the sound changes so much when you lose someone so integral to the band. It's really tough at first. Somehow, the music does go on and the energy goes on. I think the people that leave us, that's what they would want; for the music to go on and for the fans to keep supporting the band even though it's not the same and you really miss those people. I really feel that there can be a new birth of a band. The music can be reborn. It's really really tough and there's no way to replace those people and I don't think that's the idea, but we need try to keep the music going. That's all we can do is keep moving ahead. Life goes on."

Count M’Butu played percussion with Aquarium Rescue Unit. He appears on Panic's most recent live album, Live in the Classic City, recorded on April 1, 2000 in the band's hometown of Athens, GA. He has also jammed with the band several times since the mid 90s:

"During the HORDE tour, I got a chance to know him and hang out and listen to their music. I really liked his approach to music. To me, music is like having a conversation. Playing with Michael was always easy. When I'd work with him, we'd sit down in the dressing room and talk about the show and then we'd just go on the stage and do it. I call it to "conversate" and that's something that he was really good at; communicating with other musicians. He was really special."

Saxophonist Roger Lewis of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has joined Panic on stage a handful of times since 1998, when DDBB opened Widespread's Halloween show in New Orleans. Lewis also appears the band's 2000 live album, Another Joyous Occasion:

"He was one of the nicest guys I ever met in my life. He was a beautiful human being, really soft-spoken. It is really a great loss to the music world. We did quite a few gigs with Widespread Panic. Every time we played together, Michael would always be the guy to show us the parts. He wasn't loud, he just had a nice warm sound. Great musician. We've been tripping out ever since we got the news. [Sunday] night we were in Nashville and we played a song for Mike. Everybody in the audience got real quite. We played "Big Chief." You know, he was a lively guy. We didn't want to send him out on a sad note, so we sent him out on a happy note. He was so well-loved."

Galactic recently opened a number of summer dates for Widespread Panic. The individual members of Galactic have joined Panic on several occasions, including Houser's last performance on July 2, when drummer Stanton Moore sat in on percussion. Galactic issued a collective statement:

"Michael Houser was a great a man and a great musician – the heart and soul of Widespread Panic. He will be sadly missed by everyone in our band and everyone whose lives he touched."

Warren Haynes plays guitar for Gov't Mule, The Allman Brothers Band and Phil & Friends. He has collaborated with Panic numerous times, dating back to July of '91 in Colorado. Since the passing of Allen Woody, Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools has performed several shows with Gov't Mule:

"Mikey was a wonderful spirit. He was one of those guys who was always in a good mood and was always making other people feel better. Musically, he was always exploring. It was all about trying to find some new territory and innocence really took over his musical style. I remember playing with them in '93 in Virginia and it was Freddy Jones Band, my band, Dave Matthews Band and Widespread Panic, and that tells you how long ago that was. I got up and played "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" for about 45 minutes and it was great. I remember Dave Schools coming up to me and saying you know, Mike does his thing and his thing is like stream of consciousness. He just plays and you just join in there with him.' He was trying to prepare me for the fact that it wasn't going to be like a traditional [jam] it was just going to be like bobbing and weaving and musical conversation. When we got done everyone was smiling and hugging.

"Aside from being a stylist on the guitar, Mike had a cool songwriting style as well. His overall sound was such a big part of Widespread Panic. His approach to guitar was a little different than the average person and that helped make Widespread what it was. It was the sum of all those people, but he was a really big part of that sound. Again, he was such a wonderful person to be around, that plays into the music as well. Your spirit comes through your music.

"We've lost a lot of great people recently and the older we get, that's going to happen more and more. We just have to seize the day and take advantage of the opportunities that are here now and live life to the fullest. Not to say, to excess, but just enjoy your life and be thankful for the friends you have and the experiences that you've had because you never know. We always learn from these kinds of experiences."

8/14
Phish is Back
Phish has announced that it will return to the stage for a three-set show on New Year's Eve at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The group will then play a three-night stand at Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA on January 2, 3 and 4, 2003. The quartet also plans to tour and record and album later in 2003. Online tickets for the MSG and Hampton shows go on sale September 5 at 6 p.m. New Year's Eve tickets go on sale to the general public on September 20 and Hampton tickets will be sold beginning on September 21.

In other Phish news, the band has announced the release of four Halloween concerts in the ongoing Live Phish series, Volumes 13 16, as well as a concert DVD. The group's tradition of covering other artists' albums is captured on each release: The Beatles' White Album (performed in 1994, Glens Falls, NY), The Who's Quadrophenia (1995, Chicago, IL), Talking Heads' Remain in Light (1996, Atlanta, GA), and The Velvet Underground's Loaded (1998, Las Vegas, NV). The live DVD, PHISH: LIVE IN VEGAS, recorded on September 30, 2000 at Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, will be released on November 12.

8/23
Two Col. Bruce Hampton Albums Re-released
Two Col. Bruce Hampton albums have been re-released by Terminus Records. Both Isles of Langerhan (1982) and Outside Looking Out (1980) will be available on CD for the first time. The latter features a line-up that includes Paul McCandless on oboe, El Buho on brass and Ben Pops Thornton on just about everything, from vocals to guitar to bass to saxophone. Thornton and Hampton collaborated on the song writing on both releases. Hampton went on to perform with Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Fiji Mariners and The Codetalkers.

9/6
Jammys Line-up Unveiled
The line-up for the 3rd annual Jammys has been confirmed. The event, which honors improvisational musicians, will be held October 2 at Roseland Ballroom in New York City. Performers include Ratdog, Mike Gordon and Leo Kottke, Gov't Mule, moe., members of The B-52's, Rusted Root, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Robert Randolph and the Family Band and Particle. The house band will be Tom Tom Club (featuring Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, formerly of the Talking Heads) with Dirty Dozen Brass Band. More artists will be announced in the coming weeks.

8/26
Jon Gutwillig Jams with The New Deal
Guitarist Jon Gutwillig sat in with The New Deal Saturday at Camp Bisco in Union Dale, PA. Gutwillig (The Disco Biscuits) joined the group for about 20 minutes worth of improvisation in the middle of the set. It was the first time ever that The New Deal has played with a guitarist on stage.

Camp Bisco also featured sets by The Disco Biscuits, Lake Trout, DJ Logic, Particle, The Ally, Alex Paterson, the New Deal, Dr. Didg, Umphrey's McGee, The Motet, Brother's Past, RANA and Moonraker. Several late night DJ's also performed.

"I think a few years ago the kids weren't ready to party till 5:30 am, but things have changed for sure," says The Biscuits' Marc Brownstein. "Camp Bisco has matured into what we always knew it could be, a 48 hour party with very few breaks in the music, and the music was sick from start to finish."

In April of 2000, The New Deal's Jamie Shields performed as a member of The Maui Project, which was formed by Brownstein.
The New Deal

9/3
Several Special Guests Join moe.
Special guests performed with moe. over the weekend at the third annual moe.down in Turin, NY. On Friday, Jazz Mandolin Project's Jamie Masefield (mandolin) and Jon Fishman (drums) joined the band for "Meat," which opened the show. Guitarist Seth Yacovone sat in on Saturday, during "Sensory Deprivation Bank" midway through the second set. On Sunday, Galactic took the stage, replacing each member of moe. during "Moth" (in similar fashion to the moe./Gov't Mule jam from 5/2/02 at the Orpheum Theater in New Orleans). After ten minutes or so, moe. returned to finish the song.

On Friday, moe. guitarist Al Schnier joined Jazz Mandolin Project and also sat in with Particle on Saturday. Bassist Rob Derhak performed with the Seth Yacovone Band on Saturday.

In other news, despite adamant trash talking, neither Dean Budnick nor moe. manager Jon Topper's teams won the 1st annual moe.down basketball tournament. The winning squad was Ori's Team (named by Budnick when they forgot to supply a team name). The quartet was comprised of Ori Foger, Dave Schwartz, Jason Tokayer and Aviel Weinstein. They beat Team V.C. in the finals, 11-5 [Team V.C.'s roster included Kevin Ucker, Greg Nolte, Hano Rix, Randy Fontanilla and Sam Edla].

"Ori's Team played the first game of the tournament at 9:30AM and the last one at 1:00 PM," says Budnick. "They came out early and stayed late, you gotta dig that. There was some great play by all 12 teams, which is all the more impressive because moe. finished around 2AM. I also want to single out Uncle Sammy drummer Tom Arey who drove 300 miles to get there on Saturday morning for the tournament, turned around and drove 300 miles to a gig that night and then drove 300 miles back to moe.down for the band's set on Sunday afternoon. Oh yes and for those who care about such things, somehow we never faced Topper's team, Ori's team came blasting out of their side of the bracket. Maybe when the group is in New York for its Beacons shows later this month we can finally make it happen"

9/18
DJ Logic and Vernon Reid to Tour Together
DJ Logic and guitarist Vernon Reid will tour this fall as the Yohimbe Brothers. They have collaborated many times over the years, dating back to the mid-nineties, when Logic's band "Eye and I" toured as the opening act for Reid's group, Living Colour. The duo will be touring in support of its album, Front End Lifter, which includes guest appearances by Doug Wimbish (Living Colour), Slick Rick and Prince Paul. The national tour kicks off October 7 at Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA and will route west, before returning to the Northeast and concluding in the Southeast.

9/23
Members of Gov’t Mule, Phish & Widespread Panic Perform at Rising Low Screening Party
Several musicians performed at a premiere party for Mike Gordon's documentary, Rising Low, Saturday at Allaire Studios in Shokan, NY (just outside Woodstock). Following the screening of the film, many informal jam sessions unfolded over the course of the evening. Gordon played banjo with bluegrass duo Jay & Molly along with members of New York-based Big Appleachio. The set featured many standards, including "Uncle Penn" and "Deep Elem Blues." Next up was drummer Matt Abts (Gov't Mule), bassist Dave Schools (Widespread Panic, Gov't Mule) and guitarist Fuzz (Deep Banana Blackout). The trio was soon joined by DJ Logic, keyboardist Rob Marscher (Addison Groove Project) and saxophonist John Bethel for "Cissy Strut" and "Soul Power." Later in the evening, guitarist Trey Anastasio (Phish), Gordon, Abts, Fuzz, Logic and Marscher played a 40-minute set of high-energy improvisation that included a brief tease of The Who's "Sparks." In the wee hours of the night, DJ Logic entertained the crowd for an hour or so before Schools and Abts emerged for more improv.

Rising Low, which was also screened Friday at the Woodstock Film Festival, honors Allen Woody and documents the making of Gov't Mule's Deep End albums. It will be released October 8 on DVD and VHS

10/2
Deep Banana Blackout Announces Hiatus
Deep Banana Blackout has announced that it will be taking an extended hiatus from touring at the end of 2002. "After seven straight years of touring and essentially living together, we all need to step back and find ourselves again," says guitarist Fuzz. "We've had the pleasure of working with some very talented and wonderful people over the years. Most of all, it's been a real party. As to what the following year will bring, I'm sure there will be collaborations, solo efforts and more… more Banana! ..." The group is expected to confirm a Southeast tour and a New Year's run in the coming weeks.

10/3
More Jammys Collaborations
As is the tradition of the Jammys, last night's show offered up many interesting collaborations. RatDog bassist Rob Wasserman and DJ Logic kicked off the night. Next was Rusted Root, DJ Logic and guitarist Melvin Sparks, who played "Send Me on My Way" and "Ecstasy," with host John Popper adding harmonica. John Scofield was joined by saxophonist Skerik, drummer Stanton Moore and bassist Andy Hess. Pedal Steel guitarist Robert Randolph sat in with the Blind Boys of Alabama for "Amazing Grace." Unannounced guest John Mayer collaborated with Randolph and Derek Trucks. Particle and Fred Schneider and Kate Pierson of the B-52's played "Planet Claire," "Private Idaho" and "Love Shack." Original Blue Oyster Cult members Eric Bloom (vocals), Buck Dharma (guitar) and Allen Lanier (guitar, keyboards) took the stage as moe. was finishing "Rebubula" and segued into "Don't Fear the Reaper." Reid Genauer, Jessica Lurie and Hope Clayburn joined house band The Tom Tom Club for "Take Me to the River." Bassist Stefan Lessard (Dave Matthews Band) played "Beautifully Broken" with Gov't Mule, before the Allman Brothers Band took the stage and RatDog's set was capped by the monster dual stage jam, which closed out the show [see previous story for details].

Complete List of Jammys Winners
The following is the complete list of winners from the 2002 Jammys presented by TDK, which took place last night at Roseland Ballroom in New York City.
TDK Live Performance of the Year: moe., Bonnaroo Music Festival, 6/23/02
Tour of the Year: Trey Anastasio, Summer 2002
Studio Album of the Year: Trey Anastasio, Trey Anastasio
Live Album of the Year: Widespread Panic's Live in the Classic City
Archival Album: Phish, Live Phish 11: 11/17/97, McNichols Sports Arena, Denver, CO
Song of the Year: Gov't Mule's "Soulshine"
New Groove of the Year: Robert Randolph & The Family Band
Fan Website of the Year: Philzone.com
Lifetime Achievement Award: The Grateful Dead (presented by essay contest winner Bill Stites)
Mimi Fishman Community Service Award: Joshua Stack, Panic Fans For Food
Grahamy Jammy (industry award for support of the scene): Annabel Lukins

Allman Brothers Band, Trey Anastasio among Surprise Guests at 2002 Jammys Presented by TDK
Last night's 2002 Jammys Presented by TDK concluded with an uplifting, marathon version of "Lovelight," with countless musicians collaborating on both stages at Roseland Ballroom in New York City. RatDog was joined on the main stage by guitarist Trey Anastasio (Phish), Warren Haynes (Govt' Mule, Allman Brothers Band), Al Schnier (moe.), harmonica player John Popper (Blues Traveler), drummer Matt Abts (Govt' Mule) and DJ Logic. Meanwhile, the second stage was inhabited by bassist Mike Gordon (Phish), guitarist Fuzz (Deep Banana Blackout), steel pedal guitarist Robert Randolph, saxophonists Skerik (Critters Buggin', Les Claypool's Frog Brigade), Hope Clayburn (Deep Banana Blackout), Jessica Lurie (Living Daylights), Tom Tom Club vocalists Mystic Bowie and Victoria Clamp and "Flute Girl." A lengthy jam ensued between both stages, with musicians egging each other on from across the room (there was also a brief segue in and out of "Gloria").

Earlier in the show, during Gov't Mule's set, the Allman Brothers Band emerged, joining guitarist Warren Haynes for "Desdemona." Anastasio and John Scofield then performed on "Sco-Mule." Next, ABB guitarist Derek Trucks returned and Trey remained for "Soulshine."

Other notable collaborations included Blue Oyster Cult and moe. on "Don't Fear the Reaper" and B-52's and Particle on "Love Shack."

10/10
Rod Roddy to Emcee String Cheese Incident’s "Hulaween"
The Price is Right announcer Rod Roddy will be the master of ceremonies at String Cheese Incident's "Hulaween 2002 The Acadamummy Awards," which will take place October 31 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Fans are encouraged to arrive dressed as their favorite movie star, as the Academy Awards were held at this venue for several years. There will be a Red Carpet VIP entrance for any fans that arrive in a limousine. Separate limo parking will be available. The band will also be giving out several awards, including Best Costume and Best Group Costume.

10/15
All-star line-up Jams with Little Feat for 25th Anniversary Show
Little Feat celebrated it 25th anniversary last night by performing its 1978 live release Waiting for Columbus at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium, where the album was originally recorded. An all-star cast of musicians joined the band throughout the night. The line-up included Jackson Browne, Levon Helm, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Warren Haynes, Jimmy Herring, Drew Emmitt, Vince Herman, Sonny Landreth, Stephen Bruton, Joe Ely, Lenny Pickett, the All Mighty Senators horn section, Ron Holloway and writer/director/actor Billy Bob Thornton, who added lead vocals to "Dixie Chicken," which closed the second set.

10/25
Phil & Friends Perform at Gov’t Mule Show
Phil & Friends took the stage during Gov't Mule's show at the Fillmore last night in San Francisco. Midway through the first set, Phil Lesh, Rob Barraco and Jimmy Herring sat in with Mule for "When Doves Cry" -> "Beautifully Broken." Drummer John Molo then emerged, completing Phil & Friends' line-up, for "Night of 1000 Stars," "The Real Thing," "No More Do I," "Liberty" and "Lovelight," during which Gov't Mule's Matt Abts (drums) and Danny Louis (keyboards) returned to the stage.

Drummer Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste (The Meters) joined the band at the beginning of the second set, which included "Sailin' Shoes," "Spanish Moon" -> "Cissy Strut" -> "Spanish Moon."

Lesh, Barraco and Herring were in town rehearsing with The Other Ones.

10/28
Tom Dowd 1925 2002
World renowned producer Tom Dowd passed away yesterday of natural causes in Florida. Dowd worked with countless legendary artists including The Allman Brothers, John Coltrane, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dizzy Gillespie, Ornette Coleman, Thelonius Monk and Tito Puente, among others. He won a Grammy Award in 2002 for his significant contributions to the music world. Most recently, he produced portions of Susan Tedeschi's forthcoming album, Wait for Me.

Dowd produced the Allman Brothers' landmark live album Live at Fillmore East in 1971.

Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks released a statement today: "I could go on forever about Tom. I will simply say that he was the best producer, bar none, that rock and roll has ever seen or will see. He did things that very few people even know about that changed forever the way we listen to music. Most importantly he forced the people he worked with to find the very best that they had in them. (The world would not even have listened to Layla' had it not been for Tom. He put Duane and Eric together and made the sparks fly). I will also say that I loved him deeply. He was one of the 2 or 3 most influential people in my life. I will miss him more than I could possibly say. Tom, I love you and miss you and my heart is breaking that I'll will never be able to pick up the phone when I need your help, advice or guidance and hear you call me doctor' again."

11/1
Halloween Overview
Several bands donned costumes and revelled in the Halloween spirit last night. The members of String Cheese Incident dressed as dead rock stars for the second set of its show at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Michael Kang was Jimi Hendrix (and played a Stratocaster, which he also smashed later in the set), Keith Moseley was Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kyle Hollingsworth was Kurt Cobain, Michael Travis was Freddie Mercury and Billy Nershi was Jim Morrison. The second set consisted of covers sung by each member: "LA Woman," "Tightrope," "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Fire"->"Voodoo Chile" and a rousing "We Are the Champions."

At the State Theatre in Portland, ME, Strangefolk wore replicas of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club suits and opened the show with the title track to the album, followed by "With a Little Help from My friends," sung by drummer Luke smith. The band dubbed keyboardist Don Scott "Bongo, the 5th Beatle." The show ended with the reprise of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

Gov't Mule's Warren Haynes and his guitar tech Brian Farmer dressed as each other (as some folks tend to confuse the two) at the Orpheum Theatre in New Orleans. Haynes wore Farmer's signature t-shirt that reads "I'm Not Him."

At B.B. King's in New York City, The New Deal paid tribute to Run DMC's Jam Master Jay with a techno version of "Walk This Way." The show also included a extended take on Michael Jackson's "Thriller."

Widespread Panic's John Bell dressed as Cartman from South Park and Dave Schools was the Grim Reaper. The show, which took place at New Orleans' Lakefront Arena, featured covers of James Brown's "Sex Machine" and Nelly's "Hot in Herre."

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe performed at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta. The "Monster Mash" set included "Frankenstein," "Werewolves of London," "Godzilla" > "Thriller" and "Spanish Castle."

Meanwhile, Leftover Salmon played The Fillmore in Denver, CO. The band opened the second set with "War Pigs," with guitarist Vince Herman's six-year old son sitting in on guitar. Vince wore a George Bush mask and his son wore a Ronald Regan mask. Both were dressed in suits as well.

11/7
The Disco Biscuits Play "Chemical Warfare Brigade" Rock Opera
The Disco Biscuits peformed "The Chemical Warfare Brigade" rock opera in its entirety last night at The Odeon in Cleveland, OH. The opera was written by bassist Marc Brownstein who debuted it with his side project, Electron, at The Trocadero in Philadelphia on 8/18/00 (at the time the line-up included drummer Joe Russo of Fat Mama, guitarist Tom Hamilton of Brothers Past, keyboardist Aron Magner of Tthe Disco Biscuits, percussionist Paul Herron and DJ Stitch). Last night's second set performance marked the third time The Biscuits have played the complete rock opera and the first time since 4/26/01 at The Roxy in Atlanta.

"It's really a rock opera about the impending doom that we all have to deal with along with a couple of things that we can think about in order to potentially avoid disaster in terms of our own society," Brownstein said from the road today. "It's basically about a really brilliant scientist and a carpenter who he befriends. The story is about these two guys having an idea when they're really drunk. The doctor is explaining about this top secret university project that he's working on where they're developing a chemical that can kill anything that it comes in contact with. It can essentially wipe out an entire population of monkeys, or even people. There's this whole long story, but it basically comes down to a story about morals vs. money…In total, I've now played it in its entirety four times, but last night was the one. After the show someone said to me, It was the best single performance of a rock opera that [The Disco Biscuits] have ever done.'"

The Biscuits also have played guitarist Jon Gutwillig's rock opera "The Hot Air Balloon," which was debuted on 12/31/98 at Silk City in Philadelphia.

11/12
Stefan Lessard Jams with Particle
Particle continues to welcome well-known special guests to the stage. Last night at the Starr Hill Music Hall in Charlottesville, VA Dave Matthews Band bassist Stefan Lessard joined the group for "Kneeknocker."

Lessard first met the band at this year's Jammys, which took place October 2 at New York's Roseland Ballroom. He performed with Particle later that night at the official after party at B.B. King's, joining the group for "Windjammer" along with saxophonists Jessica Lurie (Living Daylights) and Sam Kininger (Soulive).

11/14
String Cheese Incident Releases Details of "Time Travelers Ball"
String Cheese Incident has released details regarding its New Year's Eve show, which will be held at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. The event is being billed as "The Time Travelers Ball" and fans are encouraged to wear costumes representing any time period – past, present or future. A statement on the band's official website invites attendees to "slip through the through vortex of time… Fall through a black hole, fly in the skies, drive the roads, but take a trip with The String Cheese Incident into the vastness of time…"
The band will also play Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on December 28 (with Michael Franti & Spearhead) and December 29 (with Gomez). Keller Williams will join the band for an opening set on December 31 (billed as Keller Williams Incident).

11/14
Phish Announces Winter Tour Dates, Saturday Night Live Appearance
Phish has confirmed a string of tour dates beginning in mid-February. The tour kicks off February 14 at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, CA and includes stops at Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on February 15 and 16, the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO on February 18, Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL on February 20, U.S. Band Arena in Cincinnati, OH on February 21 and 22, Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ on February 24, First Union Spectrum in Philadelphia, PA on February 25, The Centrum in Worcester, MA on February 26, Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY on February 28, and Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC on March 1.

Online tickets go on sale November 21 through www.phishtickets.rlc.net. For details, visit www.phish.com.

In other news, the band will appear on the December 14th episode of Saturday Night Live along with host Al Gore. It will be Phish's first official performance since October 7, 2000. The group is also scheduled to perform on The Late Show with David Letterman on December 19.

11/18
Susan Tedeschi Collaborates with the Derek Trucks Band
Susan Tedeschi joined the Derek Trucks Band Friday at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. Tedeschi, who is also Derek's wife, added vocals to the encore, "Gonna Move." The song is a Paul Pena cover, which appears on Susan's most recent album Wait for Me. The version is one of two tracks produced by Derek and also features the Derek Trucks Band.

On Saturday, Tedeschi and DTB performed the song again on the CBS Early Show in New York City.
Tedeschi will begin performing with The Other Ones tonight at the FleetCenter in Boston.

11/26
Third Greyboy Allstars Reunion Show Added
The Greyboy Allstars have confirmed a third reunion show on December 26 at the Belly Up in San Diego, CA. The group will also perform December 27 and 28 at the Fillmore in San Francisco. The band, which has not played a complete show together in more than four years, features Karl Denson, Robert Walter, Chris Stillwell, Elgin Park and Zak Najor.

The December 28th concert is sold out. Tickets to the December 26th show go on sale December 3 at 10 a.m. MST through www.karldenson.com. Tickets are still available for the December 27th gig.

11/27
Robert Randolph and the Family Band Record NBA Theme Music for ABC
Robert Randolph and the Family Band have finished recording the theme music for the NBA on ABC. Beginning this weekend, ads featuring the song "We Got Hoops" will air on ABC, promoting the network's NBA coverage, which kicks off on Christmas Day.
The former NBA theme song for NBC, "Roundball Rock," was written by John Tesh.
In other news, The Blind Boys of Alabama with Robert Randolph and the Family Band will appear on the PBS program, Austin City Limits on December 21. Check your local listings for exact airtimes

12/6
Bob Weir & Friends Line-up Announced for Warren Haynes Christmas Jam
Bob Weir & Friends will perform at the 14th Annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, which will take place December 21 at the Civic Center in Asheville, NC. The line-up includes Weir, Haynes, bassist Dave Schools (Widespread Panic, Gov't Mule), keyboardist Rob Barraco (Phil & Friends, The Other Ones) and drummer John Molo (Phil & Friends). The bill also features Gov't Mule, moe., John Hiatt & The Goners and Robert Randolph & The Family Band, with guest appearances by DJ Logic, Audley Freed, Jerry Joseph. Col. Bruce Hampton, Kevn Kinney, Sonny Landreth and Edwin McCain.

12/12
Ominous Seapods Announce Reunion Shows
The Ominous Seapods will reunite for two shows in February featuring all incarnations of the band, which includes both Max Verna and Todd Pasternack. The group will perform February 7 at Valentine's in Albany, NY and February 8 at Waterhole #3 in Saranac Lake, as part of the Winter Carnival Weekend. More information will be released in the coming weeks.

12/20
Live Phish Downloads’ Program Announced; New Year’s Shows will be Available
Phish has announced the debut of "Live Phish Downloads," a new program that will allow fans to purchase complete, unedited soundboard recordings in MP3 and Shorten digital music files. The upcoming holiday shows at New York's Madison Square Garden (12/31) and Virginia's Hampton Coliseum (1/2, 1/3, 1/4) will be available within forty-eight hours of the end of each concert. Each show will be supplemented with printable booklets, inlay trays and CD labels, for fans that wish to burn the files to CD. The band plans to release more shows for download – both new and old in the coming months. The "Live Phish" CD series will continue, with a new batch expected to be released in April of 2003.
Phish is currently offering a free download of the 10/7/00 Shoreline Amphitheatre concert, the group's final performance before going on hiatus.

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