Widespread Panic
Til the Medicine Takes
****

From the very first track, itís clear that "Til the Medicine Takes" is vintage Widespread Panic. Last time out, WSP released a double live album, "Light Fuse, Get Away." This time the new record is a studio effort. And a good one at that.

Lead vocalist John "JB" Bell is at his scratchy throated best throughout... in fact the whole band sounds top notch from start to finish. The tunes arenít too shabby either. In addition to plenty of straight-ahead southern psychedelia ("Surprise Valley," "Bearís Gone Fishiní") and pachouli dipped spirituality ("Nobodyís Loss"), the panic boys have a little fun this time out mixing things up. Ragtime piano drives the old timey nostalgia of "Blue Indian," while guest musicians, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, whip the lazy Mardis Gras march of "Christmas Katie" into a frenetic, horn driven panic before itís all said and done. Then thereís the banjo pluckiní rhythms of "The Waker," which take Widespread into a more traditional realm... a corn liquor and railroad car Americana that hasnít made the scene since the Byrds went down that long and dusty track many years ago. Thereís plenty of rock and roll here too. "Dyiní Man," and "All Time Low" are both smoldering thunderheads in four/four time, not to mention "One Arm Steve," a Dylanesque, character filled jaunt into a weird, yet highly danceable, groove cartoon. Need a break from the crap on the radio? Slap this baby in the CD player and kick back. Itíll just be a moment "Til the Medicine Takes." ###