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Don't Tell the Band [Digipak]

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Audio CD, June 19, 2001
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February 2011, Athens GA


Everybody loves surprises, that feeling of not knowing what might be around the next corner -- and that’s exactly the vibe that Widespread Panic gives off every time they unleash a new album. Sometimes that means taking listeners on a nice, smooth ride, and sometimes it means making ‘em hold on tight, but either way, it means the trip is gonna be worth it.

On Dirty Side Down, ... Read more in Amazon's Widespread Panic Store

Visit Amazon's Widespread Panic Store
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 19, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sanctuary Records
  • ASIN: B00005KCFY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,193 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Little Lilly
2. Give
3. Imitation Leather Shoes
4. This Part Of Town
5. Sometimes
6. Thought Sausage
7. Down
8. Big Wooly Mammoth/Tears Of A Woman
9. Case Del Grillo
10. Old Joe
11. Action Man
12. Don't Tell The Band

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Widespread Panic ~ Don`T Tell The Band [Digipak]

While large parts of their generation were trashing blues-based rock and searching for alternatives, Georgia's Widespread Panic eagerly picked up where the Dead and a generation of other improv-driven musicians left off. But that sense was hardly reactionary; indeed, WP's musical utopianism seems to have gleaned as much from alt-rock as the Allmans, infusing this 2001 collection with a bracing sense of adventure. Their seventh album encompasses the stylistic diversity longtime fans have come to expect, with that diversity now underscored by the walloping hard-rock edge on "Give," "Imitation Leather Shoes," and "Action Man." With vocalist John Bell's expressive, character-rich voice evoking spirits as diverse as Steve Miller, James Hetfield, and Eddie Vedder, the band's tales of jaundiced romance and bleary-eyed life are ensconced in dreamy piano ballads ("This Part of Town"), neo-psych funk ("Thought Sausage"), and even rootsy Nashville-meets-Memphis novelty ("Big Wooly Mammoth"). Tellingly, WP infuse their cover of alt-rock pioneers Firehose's "Sometimes" with an infectious, Miller-esque pop groove that further highlights their sense of musical team play. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

Every song on the album is well-crafted and will hold up over time.
Let's just say that a mind is a terrible thing to waste... on a dolt like that.
Scott Albert Johnson
He said that he would highly recommend this to Widespread Panic fans.
Crazy Catlady

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By spiral_mind on May 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Another couple years, another Panic album. Another exercise in integrating traditional Southern rock into the current century. And true to form this one rocks, whispers, kicks and navigates through a variety of song styles that's even more.. err, widespread than before. There's some growling southern-fried funk, some quiet country, a touch of Spanish guitar, and more that flat-out contemporary-blues rock we all know and love. JB's voice sounds as heavy on the whiskey & cigarettes as ever. Only one warning: those who want more of the six-minute Panic jams that fleshed out their first few albums may feel like several songs are cut off too soon. On the other hand, the "let-em-save-it-for-the-live-album" crowd will find a lot to like; the tracks here have the usual scattered solos but don't stretch much past five minutes. Once again we're reminded that improvising is WP's cherry, but it's the songwriting that makes up the whole sundae.
Ah, but the double-disc package has something to please the fans in both camps. As a seeming concession to the jam-happy part of the fan base, the extra live disc is a 26-minute reminder that their dynamic stage energy hasn't gone anywhere. The instrumental "Action Man" roars where the studio version simply burns. I'm still sitting on the fence as to whether this or Till the Medicine Takes is the better album for neophytes, but I'm leaning toward Don't Tell the Band because of the second CD. Want a nice energetic ray of sunshine? This'll do nicely.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Chris Mingledorff on January 22, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Yes, Widespread Panic is an awesome live show to see. Why does a great live performance take away from superior studio efforts? 'Don't Tell the Band' is another superior studio effort from the boys that Athens Georgia gave us. The opening track, "Little Lilly", is CLASSIC Widespread on the blues tip. I can't wait to here the extended 30 minute jam session live. "Imitation Leather Shoes" has gotten trashed as too "poppy" by many reviewers too lost in their 1987 Phish bootlegs, but this track, along with "Big Wooly Mammoth" bounce along (dare I say they're "fun"....but not innovative enough for some folks I guess) and are awesome to ride along down the road to. Widespread has done it again. More southern fried jam rock in the car cd changer. I couldn't be happier. Let the Birkinstock wearing phishheads eat me alive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bill Allison on July 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Widespread Panic is somewhat of a musical phenomenon. I honestly can't think of another band to compare them too. They are incredibly diverse, covering many different styles of rock, sometimes all within one song. Singer John Bell can sing low, c high, and can even do a Hetfield-like growl.
The band have stayed completely true to their sound on every album while bringing something new and a little different to the table each time. Some may call them a "jam-band" but I don't really care. To me, they are just a great rock and roll band. I'm not into the whole classifying thing.
On "Don't Tell the Band" WSP deliver twelve great tracks that you can listen to in the order that the cd was intended to be heard. There are no filler tracks here. Not one. Every note seems to fit just where it belongs. I knew from the opening of "Little Lilly" that I was in for one hell of an album. If you liked "Till the Medicine Takes" you will love this one. It's definitely in the same vein. To me, it's like they took the approach that they used on that album and expaned. There are some heart-felt ballads "this part of town" and some good times rock and roll "Action Man". There is also a really great story song called "Old Joe". "Thought Sausage" is a funky bit that displays JB's vocal range even further.
I really hope that more people catch on to WSP. When I was fourteen, I had an "Everyday" t-shirt and everyone kept asking me "who the hell is Widespread Panic?" Oh well. Somep people never learn. It's really a shame. Maybe with this release and the tour with Dave Matthews Band, a whole crop of newcomers will find these guys.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Cook on July 12, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Being a Athens-raised Widespread Panic fan from pretty much day one, let me first say that after my first listen I was fairly unimpressed with this album. However, after a few plays my initial disappointment faded quickly. Although this album lacks the seemingly carefree and meandering persona of earlier releases, it does still look, feel, and sound like Widespread. True, the more produced sound does slightly mask the rambling guitar, jangling keyboard, and adventurous percussion fans have come to expect, but they are still there and the end result is tried and true Panic with a slightly more produced feel. Of course lyrically, as always, this album shines. All bands of this genre have seen changes of this sort as time goes by (very notably Blues Traveler and, yes, even the Dead). With Don't Tell The Band, the evolution enhances the experience instead of deadens it (i.e. Ballard's effect on Dave Matthews). I highly recommend this album provided you don't go out and buy it expecting nothing more than a rehash of Space Wrangler, et. al. Lastly, the haunting "This Part of Town" shows off the band's talents in a way we have not seen since "Mercy". I'm sure you will enjoy.
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