Album Details

September 28, 2004
Pop/Rock, American Trad Rock, Jam Bands

Album Review

For over a decade now, Widespread Panic have been hosting wild Halloween gigs in Georgia. Always a treasured part of these shows is the band's choice of cover material. Jackassolantern is a collection of covers from the various Halloween performances over the years. Over half the material here features the late Michael Houser on guitar and vocals; the rest stars George McConnell in the same capacity. The set kicks off with a raucous, woolly read of the Black Sabbath behemoth "Sweet Leaf." While this version lacks the sheer dark thud of the original, it's nonetheless a more than credible garage take on the track. Likewise, "Sympathy for the Devil" comes off more as an homage than an attempt to interpret the Jagger/Richards original. It smokes. Other standouts include a rollicking blues-funk workout of the Doors' "Peace Frog/Blue Sunday." And a deeply textured, sprawling spooky garage read of War's "Slipping into Darkness" takes over three minutes to get rolling, but once it does, it just takes off. Spreadheads will be familiar with the cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Wind Cries Mary" that's here, and to be honest, it's a generic take. The Temptations' classic "Ball of Confusion" is the hinge of the disc. Almost 17 minutes long, it features guest appearances by saxophonist Randall Bramblett and the entire Dirty Dozen Brass Band strutting deep into psychedelic funk. The album closes with a bucked-up, raw cover of Blue Öyster Cult's "Godzilla." Although audience tapes might be the best souvenirs of the band's shows for true Panic fans, Spreadheads might have to have Jackassolantern as a recorded document of what they've heard live.
Thom Jurek, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Sweet Leaf
  2. Sympathy for the Devil
  3. Sex Machine
  4. Hot in Herre
  5. Peace Frog/Blue Sunday
  6. Slippin' into Darkness
  7. Wind Cries Mary
  8. Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)
  9. Godzilla