Todd Nance, the co-founding drummer of Widespread Panic, has died at age 57.
Nance was behind the drums when Panic performed their first show at The Mad Hatter Ballroom in Athens, GA on February 6th, 1986 and remained with the Athens, GA-native group until late 2014, when he was temporarily replaced by Duane Trucks as he tended to personal matters. While Todd Nance reunited with the band at 2016’s Panic En La Playa Cinco, the outfit announced shortly after that “Duane will be the drummer for Widespread Panic moving forward.”
Nance was also the drummer during the Widespread Panic’s famous outdoor concert in the streets of Athens in April 1998, which was attended by tens of thousands of fans and was later released as Panic In The Streets. He was also a member of brute, the Vic Chesnutt-led side project featuring Nance and WSP bandmates Michael Houser, John Bell, Dave Schools, and JoJo Hermann.
Following his departure from Widespread Panic, Nance continued to tour and perform in recent years with other projects The Interstellar Boys and Todd Nance & Friends.
Scroll down to watch an old interview featuring Nance and Panic’s founding guitarist Mikey Houser (who died in 2002) as seen on Panic’s 2001 Live at Oak Mountain concert film.
Todd Nance & Mikey Houser Interview – Live at Oak Mountain – April 2001
[Video: Christopher Hanson]
The Nance family shared a statement following news of Todd’s Death on Wednesday that reads,
It is with great sadness that we announce that Todd Nance, a founding member of Widespread Panic, passed away early this morning in Athens, GA from sudden and unexpectedly severe complications of a chronic illness. There are no services being planned at this time, but information will be shared as decisions are made regarding the best way to honor Todd’s extraordinary life and career. The Nance family appreciates the love and support of all and requests that their privacy be honored during this hard time.
The Widespread Panic family also added,
With heavy Hearts and Loving memories we say good bye to our Brother Todd Alton Nance. Widespread Panic was born the night of Todd’s first show. He and Mikey had played music together in High school (maybe Junior high) and with a lucky thought, Michael tracked him down and asked him to join us – because we had a gig, but needed a drummer. For thirty years Todd was the engine of the Widespread Panic. He wrote great songs, and was a giving and forgiving collaborator. T Man was the epitome of a “team player.” Drove the Band and drove the van. Funny, adventurous, and a very kind Soul, we wish Todd and his Family peace during this sad time after so many happy times.
Safe travels, Brother Todd.
With Love, the Boys and Girls of Widespread Panic
In a statement posted on Instagram on Wednesday, North Mississippi Allstars’ Cody Dickinson also commented on the loss of his longtime friend and collaborator. The heartfelt note packs an extra punch considering Dickinson just had to write a similar remembrance of bandmate Carl Dufrene when he passed away earlier this week. Read Dickinson’s full post below:
View this post on Instagram
I just can’t believe I am writing these words again, so soon.. Saying goodbye to my dear friend and drumming brother, Todd Nance. Todd had that deep, southern boogie groove. Undeniable and infectious. The real deal Holyfield. His signature drumming style influenced so many. His many great performances brought happiness and joy to us all. Todd would always invite me to sit in and play with WSP. I mean ALWAYS. Of all the drummers who have shown me so much love and support all these years, he was the guy who would say, ‘come on Cody, play drums during my solo. Or washboard. Whatever you want.’ Who does that?? Todd Nance. That’s who. Love you buddy. Always. God bless and god speed. Lord, please look after Tammy and his family, as well as all of us who loved him so much, during this difficult time. Amen. Cody