Widespread Panic reached into the vaults on Friday to deliver a demo recording of “Love Tractor” featuring Phish’s Page McConnell. The early take will appear on the Athens, GA outfit’s upcoming demo collection, Miss Kitty’s Lounge, out on May 20th via Widespread Records.
Recorded in 1990 with Widespread Panic’s five original members John Bell (guitar/vocals), Michael Houser (guitar), Todd Nance (drums), Dave Schools (bass), and Domingo “Sunny” Ortiz (percussion), this version of “Love Tractor” hears the Phish keyboardist fill the role that would eventually go to JoJo Hermann. For his part as a ringer, Page brings a soulful organ to what would become a celebrated Widespread Panic stomper for decades to come, setting the stage for a fiery solo from The Lingering Lead.
The sessions for Miss Kitty’s Lounge took place in December 1990 at producer John Keane‘s Athens home studio and ultimately landed the band a contract with Capricon to record its 1991 self-titled album. By this time, Widespread Panic and Phish were well acquainted as the two bands embarked on a co-headlining tour of the Eastern United States at the beginning of 1990. Widespread Panic headlined the Southern shows while Phish took top billing in the Northeast in a move that cross-pollinated both bands’ then-regional audiences.
In addition to McConnell, Miss Kitty’s Lounge features guest appearances from Keane on guitar as well as Randall Bramblett on saxophone. The 14-track double LP hosts early renditions of what would become WSP classics including “Pigeons”, “Barstools And Dreamers”, “Machine”, and more.
“This was Widespread Panic un-filtered—or, at least self-filtered—filling in almost every cranny with sound and movement,” John Bell said of the recordings.
Listen to the Widespread Panic demo of “Love Tractor” featuring Page McConnell and click here to pre-order Miss Kitty’s Lounge from independent record stores. The band kicks off a three-night run at Live Oak Pavillion in Wilmington, NC tonight, May 6th. For tickets and a full list of tour dates click here.
Widespread Panic – “Love Tractor” (ft. Page McConnell)