Dirty Side Down CD (2010)

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Product Overview

Specifications

Label ATO Records/red
SKU 215626323
UPC 880882171124
UPC 14 00880882171124
Format CD
Release Date 5/25/2010
Links
Author Widespread Panic
Compilation Appearance Endless Highway: The Music Of The Band
Compilation Appearance All My Friends:celebrating/gregg Allm
Compilation Appearance All My Friends:celebrating/gregg Allm
Compilation Appearance All My Friends:celebrating/gregg Allm
Compilation Appearance Californication:series 3 (Ost)
Associated Artist/Work On, Pickin'
Associated Artist/Work Pickin' On
Technical Info
Engineer John Keane
Producer John Keane; Widespread Panic
CatalogID 0087
Lable Name ATO (USA)
Released 05/25/2010
Original Release 2010
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 61m : 25s
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00880882171124
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel: John Bell (vocals, guitar); John Hermann (vocals, keyboards); Todd Nance (vocals, drums); Jimmy Herring (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, baritone guitar); Domingo Ortiz (percussion).
Audio Mixer: John Keane.
Widespread Panic have struggled for a long time to bring the excitement of their live shows onto a studio recording. On their earliest records -- Space Wrangler, their self-titled sophomore album, and Ain't Life Grand -- the band didn't worry about it and the albums were mostly solid and engaging. As WP's live reputation began to spread through the jam band scene, however, that began to change; live records began appearing in streams. In the interim, WP seemingly forgot how to record in a studio. On 2006's Earth to America, WP began addressing the issue with some success. When Jimmy Herring joined for 2008's Free Somehow, they were still struggling with it, but formal song structures were beginning to replace framework riffs for long instrumental jams. On Dirty Side Down, WP finally learned that it is possible to have two distinct personas: one in the studio and another in concert. The concentration on songwriting here is evident from the first moments of the opening track, "Saint Ex." Complex melodic structures, dynamics, classic rock textures, and harmonic balance are exemplified as acoustic and electric instruments interweave seamlessly in a dreamy intro before a Latin percussion groove-laden vibe takes hold thanks to the hand drumming of Domingo S. Ortiz and bassist Dave Schools. Drifting, laid-back vocals are juxtaposed against hard rock guitars from singer John Bell and Herring along with Todd Nance's drum interludes. This is underscored on the driving, percussive blues-rocker "North," with blazing guitars, John Hermann's B-3, and Ortiz's congas. The title track is a knotty yet breezy Americana-styled rocker, while the ballad "This Cruel Thing," with a militaristic snare, Bell's moaning vocal, and an emotive refrain backed by Anne Richmond Boston, is a genuine surprise. "Shut Up and Drive" finds the tightrope between shuffling rocker and guitar jam, holds it tautly, and walks it without faltering. "Clinic Cynic," with Hermann's trademark piano work and producer John Keane's pedal steel, is a straight-up yet laid-back country-rocker. "Jaded Tourist" is a Southern rocker in the grand tradition without giving in to obvious tropes; it also brings gritty funk and soul to the party. The interplay between Hermann and the guitars locks the groove. At an hour long -- which may not bother Spread Heads -- Dirty Side Down is a tad long, but when the songs are this good, WP gets a pass. This is easily the band's finest studio offering in over a decade. ~ Thom Jurek
Professional Reviews
Billboard (p.28) - "'North' is grooving guitar rock with a swelling, buoyant chorus. This is an accomplished work from a group that understands itself completely, deftly straddling the line between instinct and craft."
Disc 1
1 Saint Ex
2 North
3 Dirty Side Down
4 This Cruel Thing
5 Visiting Day
6 Clinic Cynic
7 St. Louis
8 Shut Up and Drive
9 True To My Nature
10 When You Coming Home
11 Jaded Tourist
12 Cotton Was King
Product Attributes
Artist Widespread Panic
Music Format Compact Disc

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