A southern rock jam band, Widespread Panic formed in Athens, GA, over twenty years ago. In 1981, students Michael Houser and John Bell met at the University of Georgia and began playing the guitar together. By 1986, bassist Dave Schools and drummer Todd Nance joined Michael Houser and John Bell to form a band. Michael Houser, or "Panic," had suffered from panic attacks, so the musicians called their new band "Widespread Panic"
After playing in bars for several years, Widespread Panic released their debut album, Space Wrangler, in 1988, and cheap Widespread Panic tickets were hard to get. The band produced the albums Widespread Panic, Ain't Life Grand, and Bombs & Butterflies during the 1990's. Later Widespread Panic albums include Live in the Classic City and Widespread Panic Live at Myrtle Beach.
Michael Houser, founder of Widespread Panic, died from pancreatic cancer in 2002. George McConnell joined the jam band and served as the lead guitarist until 2006, when Jimmy Herring replaced him. People with discount Widespread Panic tickets might know that the band released a new album, Free Somehow, in 2008. The current lineup of Widespread Panic includes John Bell, John "JoJo" Hermann, Todd Nance, Domingo Ortiz, Dave Schools, and Jimmy Herring