This weekend’s Wanee Festival is off and running. From a emotional tribute to Butch Trucks led by Cody and Luther Dickinson on Wednesday, to an excellent Neil Young tribute set by Leftover Salmon on Thursday, it’s clear that the spirit of collaboration–and, of course, the spirit of the Allman Brothers–is alive and well at Spirit of Suwannee Music Park.
Friday’s festivities would prove to continue in that vein. During their headlining set at the festival’s Peach Stage, Athens, GA jam stalwarts Widespread Panic welcomed young guitar wizard Marcus King (who opened the Peach Stage schedule with The Marcus King Band earlier in the day) to join the band for a soaring rendition of the Allmans’ classic jam vehicle “Mountain Jam.” The cover marked Panic’s third-ever performance of the song, and only the second with Jimmy Herring (7/10/16 in Las Vegas), who brought his first-hand experience with the Brothers to the table along with his storied guitar chops. King, as usual, dazzled the crowd with his dexterity. The interplay between Herring, the veteran and Marcus, the promising young star–particularly considering the emotional weight of this specific song, played at this specific festival–makes the collaboration all the more powerful.
King has more than a few notable sit-ins on his resume, and for years they were all marked with a note of surprise from the audience: this young kid takes the stage, eclipses the wildest expectations of the uninitiated, and consequently blows minds. Marcus is still blowing minds, but the surprise is becoming less and less common, as word continues to spread of his prodigious talent.
You can check out footage of from the sit-in below, via YouTube user Suwannee HD Streams:
Wanee continues today with sets from Gov’t Mule, Trey Anastasio Band, Bob Weir, and more.
SETLIST: Widespread Panic | Wanee Festival | Spirit of Suwannee Music Park | April 21, 2017 (setlist via PanicStream)
“In memory of Butch Trucks”
Set: Ain’t Life Grand, Love Tractor, Cease Fire > Heaven, Lil Kin > Junior, Party At Your Mama’s House > Stop Breakin’ Down Blues, Tall Boy, Last Straw > Mountain Jam* > Drums > Mountain Jam > Impossible > Big Wooly Mammoth > Jam > Christmas Katie > One Kind Favor > Saint Ex, Imitation Leather Shoes (137 mins)
Encore: Blackout Blues, End of the Show (13 mins)