Monday, May 24, 2010

Discarded McConnell

As a big Widespread Panic fan I always wondered exactly why they booted George McConnell out of the band as lead guitarist.  (McConnell is a guitar player from Vicksburg, Mississippi, who had a band called Beanland, that played southern rock in a similar vein to bands like Bloodkin and Widespread).  Jimmy Herring is a phenomenal player, don't get me wrong, but I really didn't think McConnell was a bad player at all.  I saw him play with WSP in NYC a number of times and some of the shows were really excellent.  I heard rumors that it was because of his drug use, which surprises me, as he seems like a low-key guy, but whoever said mild mannered people don't abuse drugs....anyway, last year I downloaded what was his latest music from his website ( and it's very uneven, a few good songs but mostly just middling tunes, no stand outs.  It looks like he only plays shows at bars near Vicksburg, so safe to say he ain't coming to the city any time soon.  Must be wild to go from being the lead guitar player in a huge rock band to then return to playing college bars.  I wonder how many "Free Bird" requests he gets.  My favorite songs of his are "Doreatha", which is off of the Beanland disc, and "Nicotina", which he used to perform with WSP (both songs became part of the WSP live repetoire with McConnell).  Anyway, just wondering.....

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