Today, we celebrate the 54th birthday of the King of Flannel, The Wizard himself, the legend with a smile, Jimmy Herring. The Widespread Panic guitarist has one of the most impressive resumés to date, as a founding member of Aquarium Rescue Unit and Jazz Is Dead, and past member of The Allman Brothers Band, Frogwings, The Dead, The Other Ones, Trigger Hippy, frequent collaborator with Phil Lesh & Friends, and so many more. 

The North Carolina native started playing guitar at the age of thirteen, though he also played the saxophone in the high school band. A student of Berklee College of Music and the Guitar Institute of Technology, Herring’s versatile phrasing is extremely influenced by psychedelic jazz and classic southern rock, but also incorporates emotions of the blues, colored by the undertones of folk and bluegrass. With a career spanning over 40 years of playing the guitar, Jimmy Herring is a musician’s musician; he plays for his own entertainment, and we are all just lucky enough to experience it.

In appreciation of his deep versatility, let’s watch a few videos from his various different bands:

Aquarium Rescue Unit, ‘Stand Up People’, after 1994:

Jazz Is Dead, ‘Ramble On Rose’ 1999

Allman Brothers Band, ‘Mountain Jam’ 2000:

The Dead, ‘Cassidy’ 2004:

Jimmy Herring Band, shredding with Oteil Burbridge in 2009:

Phil Lesh with Jimmy Herring, Warren Haynes, Rob Barracco, John Molo, ‘St. Stephen’ 2013:

Widespread Panic, ‘Honky Red’ 2015:

Happy Birthday, Jimmy!