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Posts Tagged ‘Widespread Panic’

RIP, Col. Bruce Hampton (May 2, 2017) Influential Rock Guitarist

Posted by themusicsover on May 2, 2017

Col. Bruce Hampton (Born Gustav Berglund)
April 30, 1947 – May 2, 2017

Photo by Roger Gupta via Wikimedia

Bruce Hampton, more commonly known as Col. Bruce Hampton, was a bluesy avant-garde guitarist whose work has been credited for being a main inspiration on countless musicians, and in particular, jam bands who took a shine to his improvisational skills. Born in Knoxville, TN, Hampton’s first band of note was the blues rock outfit, Hampton Grease Band whose first album, Music To Eat was released by Columbia Records in 1971.  Never publicly proven one way or another, legend has it that it is the 2nd worst selling album in Columbia Records history – barely nudged out by an unknown yoga album.  True or not, the band soon parted ways with Columbia and found a more fitting home on Frank Zappa‘s Bizzare Records,  before calling it quits in 1973.  Hampton went on to release dozens of albums under different monikers over the next four decades and guesting on countless others while performing live in front of adoring fans around the world.  In 1992, Hampton helped launch the H.O.R.D.E. (Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere ) festival tour.  Taking their cue from the recently launched Lollapalooza tour, founding band Blues Traveler imagined a traveling show where improvisational bands of every stripe could come together for the enjoyment of like-minded fans.  Besides Hampton’s Aquarium Rescue Unit, bands on the inaugural run included Phish, Widespread Panic and the Spin Doctors.  On May 1, 2017, the still very much active Col. Bruce Hampton was honored with a 70th birthday concert in Atlanta, GA. The all-star event included performers such as John Popper, Peter Buck, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, and Warren Haynes alongside members of Phish, Widespread Panic, Leftover Salmon, and more.  While performing “Turn on Your Love Lovelight” during the encore, Hampton collapsed in a way that many in the audience initially assumed it was part of the show.  When it was realized that he was indeed suffering from a medical emergency, he was carried offstage and taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead during the early hours of May 2, 2017. Cause of death was not immediately released.

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Died On This Date (July 26, 2013) JJ Cale / Legendary American Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on July 26, 2013

John “JJ” Cale
December 5, 1938 – July 26, 2013

jj-caleJJ Cale was an American singer-songwriter who gave us some of rock music’s most iconic songs.  Widely considered a songwriter’s songwriter, Cale’s most famous tunes are “Cocaine” and “After Midnight” which were made into hits by Eric Clapton, and “Call Me The Breeze” a hit for Lynyrd Skynyrd.   The seemingly endless list of others who recorded his songs includes Waylon Jennings, Widespread Panic, Tom Petty, and Carlos Santana. Born in Oklahoma City, but raised in Tulsa, Cale set his sights on Los Angeles during the early ’60s.  He found work there in a recording studio and at the Whiskey a GoGo, but after not getting much notice, Cale was ready to pack it all in and try something else when he got a call that Clapton wanted to record “After Midnight.”  With his career finally on track, Cale went on to release a number of acclaimed albums over the next four decades.   His biggest hit single as a performer was 19702s “Crazy Mama” which reached #22 on the Billboard charts.  In 2006, he and Clapton were awarded a Grammy for their album, The Road To Escondido.  JJ Cale passed away on July 26, 2013 following a heart attack.  He was 74.

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Died On This Date (October 7, 2010) T Lavitz / Dixie Dregs

Posted by themusicsover on October 7, 2010

Terry “T” Lavitz
April 16, 1956 – October 7, 2010

T Lavitz at right. Photo by David Plastik - Click To Order Quality Prints - Discount code: 10OFF

T Lavitz was an influential jazz fusion keyboardist who is perhaps best remembered for his work with the Dixie Dregs and later, Jazz Is Dead.  Lavitz was still a child when he started playing the piano, and by the time he was studying music in college, he was asked to join the Dixie Dregs.  Throughout the late ’70s and early ’80s, the Dregs built a solid legion of fans, drawn to their jazz rock fusion that encorporated elements of bluegrass, southern rock and classical.  Over the next two decades, Lavitz played with Mother’s Finest, Widespread Panic, Jefferson Starship, and Jazz Is Dead, a popular Grateful Dead instrumental cover band.  T Lavitz was 54 when he passed away in his sleep on October 7, 2010.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Dan Roth for the assist.

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Mood Swing - T Lavitz

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Died On This Date (October 24, 2008) Merl Saunders / Played With The Grateful Dead

Posted by themusicsover on October 24, 2009

Merl Saunders
February 14, 1934 – October 24, 2008

With Jerry Garcia

With Jerry Garcia

Merle Saunders was an exceptionally talented keyboard player who was a familiar face along the jamband scene beginning in the early ’70s.  He first teamed up with the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia in 1971, and together they made several albums throughout the years.  Saunders also sat in with the Dead on many occasions.  He also fronted his own band with whom he recorded as well.  Over the years, Saunders has collaborated with Bonnie Raitt, Miles Davis, Widespread Panic, and Phish.  In 2002, Saunders suffered a serious stroke which eventually lead to his death in 2008.  He was 74.

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Live At Keystone, Vol. 1 - Bill Vitt, Jerry Garcia, John Kahn & Merl Saunders

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