Skip to main content

Widespread Panic, Guided by Voices and Eric Johnson Getting ACL Live Albums

New West Records will unveil three archival live recordings drawn from the catalog of concerts performed on PBS’ legendary Austin City Limits series over the past 20 years. A release from jam-rock heroes Widespread Panic arrives on October 27, 2017, while November 10, 2017 is the street date for indie-rock legends Guided by Voices and guitar maestro Eric Johnson. All three Live From Austin TX titles are making their vinyl debuts as 180g gatefold double LPs, and the Guided by Voices and Eric Johnson recordings will also be put out as CD/DVD combos for the first time.

The sets, filled with unique live recordings, feature the full concert performances. The LPs have been remastered from original source files and pressed onto 180g vinyl. The CD/DVDs also come re-mixed and re-mastered in 5.1 surround-sound to provide premium sonic quality. Austin City Limits founder and producer Terry Lickona contributed liner notes to each release.

For more than three decades, Widespread Panic has ranked as one of America’s premier live bands, known for epic concerts and for never playing the same show, or even the same song, the same way twice. The Georgia-bred band also likes to make their Halloween concerts extra special, so this Halloween 2000 Austin City Limits appearance is a real treat. Lickona recalls that“there was something strange going on in the house that night … this was one time the audience almost threatened to steal the show!” The 11-track set, out October 27, includes the massive 18-minute-plus jam composed of “Driving Song Part 1,” “Surprise Valley,” and “Driving Song Part 2,” which fills the entire third side of this double LP. This show, the first of the group’s three ACL appearances, features the classic Widespread Panic lineup: John Bell and Michael Houser on guitars, David Schools on bass, John Hermann on keyboards, Todd Nance on drums and Domingo Ortiz on percussion. 
Eric Johnson’s November 10 release spotlights his guitar virtuosity. The Austin native electrified his hometown audience during this fabled performance, which was recorded in December, 1988 and aired in 1989. During the 13-song show, he previewed several songs (“Steve’s Boogie,” “East Wes,” “Righteous,” and “Cliffs of Dover”) from his 1990 breakthrough album, Ah Via Musicom, along with “Camel’s Night Out,” which wound up on 1996’s Venus Isle. Johnson also salutes one of guitar heroes, Jimi Hendrix, by covering “Love or Confusion” and “Are You Experienced?” Lickona declares that “‘guitar genius’ is an easy phrase to throw around, but when it comes to blending fires and finesse, Eric Johnson has it all.” When New West released this as a DVD in 2005, it went gold. Now Johnson’s Live From Austin TX recording will come out on vinyl (as a 3-side 2-LP) for the first time, and as a CD/DVD combo set.

Austin City Limits is known for hosting an eclectic selection of bands, and there are few bands more eclectic themselves than Guided by Voices. Led by Robert Pollard, the iconic indie rockers put out a dazzling, and prodigious, number of albums after starting out in Dayton, Ohio in the mid-’80s. Guided by Voices visited Austin City Limits toward end of its 2004 “farewell” tour (although Pollard would re-start the band a couple years later). The group, featuring guitarists Doug Gillard and Nate Farley, bassist Chris Slusarenko, and drummer Kevin March, was in classic GBV form. Exclaim! Magazine hailed the performance as having “the feeling of a greatest hits package” and it is hard to fathom an ACL show that has more than the 30 songs that GBV played this night. “Much of it couldn’t, wouldn’t ever be broadcast on television — public or otherwise,” Lickona reveals. “(Pollard) always said he wanted to end the band’s decades of music on a high note. And this is it!” First released as just a DVD in 2007, the set will debut onNovember 10 as a DVD/2CD combo and a 2-disc LP. 
The Austin City Limits archives hold more than 400 shows, many of them one-of-a-kind performances of rare television appearances by some of the world’s best artists. In addition to DVDs, separate live, audio-only CDs are also available for many of the concerts. New West’sLive From Austin TX series, presenting more than 50 critically acclaimed titles and multiple Gold- and Platinum-certified releases, continues its impressive run. Previous releases include performances by Buck Owens, Dwight Yoakam, Merle Haggard, Guy Clark, Steve Earle, Neko Case, David Byrne, Fats Domino, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Widespread Panic Track List:
  • Let’s Get Down To Business
  • Ain’t Life Grand
  • Space Wrangler
  • Climb To Safety
  • Blue Indian
  • Casa Del Grillo
  • Driving Song Part 1/Surprise Valley/Driving Song Part 2
  • Travelin’ Light
  • Bear’s Gone Fishin’
  • Dyin’ Man
  • Porch Song 
Eric Johnson Track List:
  • Righteous
  • Love or Confusion
  • Steve's Boogie
  • Trail of Tears
  • Western Flyer
  • East Wes
  • C.W.
  • Camel's Night Out
  • Emerald Eyes
  • Cliffs of Dover
  • Desert Rose
  • Zap
  • Are You Experienced? 
Guided by Voices Track List:
  • Demons Are Real
  • Pimple Zoo
  • Everybody Thinks I'm A Raincloud (When I’m Not Looking)
  • Exit Flagger
  • Sleep Over Jack
  • Girls Of Wild Strawberries
  • Navigating Flood Regions
  • Gold Star For Robot Boy
  • Window Of My World
  • Redmen And Their Wives
  • Dayton Ohio -19 Something And 5
  • My Impression Now
  • Do The Earth
  • Game Of Pricks
  • Secret Star
  • My Kind Of Soldier
  • Sad If I Lost It
  • Cut Out Witch
  • Gonna Never Have To Die
  • Best Of Jill Hives
  • Watch Me Jumpstart
  • Tractor Rape Chain
  • Buzzards And Dreadful Crows
  • Pendulum
  • Murder Charge
  • Fair Touching
  • Teenage FBI
  • Glad Girls
  • I Am A Scientist
  • Echos Myron