Vet rockers Widespread Panic going strong with ‘Street Dogs’

Widespread‘Street Dogs’
Widespread Panic (Vanguard)
3.5 stars out of 5

I was a freshman at the University of Georgia when Athens band Widespread Panic dropped their remarkable debut album “Space Wrangler” in 1988. Almost 30 years later, Widespread Panic are still at it, fixtures on the jam band scene, and serving up sizzling 12th studio effort “Street Dogs.”

Widespread CDThe guys haven’t changed their formula much over the years — hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? — and they serve up more of the same on this first-rate new record. There are plenty of blistering guitar riffs and lots of noodling on the 10-track, 59-minute slab. “Street Dogs” comes on the heels of 2012 release “Wood,” which was recorded live during Widespread Panic’s first-ever acoustic tour.

The band wastes little time jumping right into things with “Sell Sell,” and later score with the sprawling “Cease Fire,” “Angels Don’t Sing the Blues,” “Poorhouse of Positive Thinking,” “Welcome to My World” and dynamic set closer “Street Dogs for Breakfast.” Keep on keeping on, fellas. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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