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Widespread Panic's Sunny Ortiz Discusses 25 Year Anniversary Tour

Posted: Jan 25, 2011

Widespread Panic’s Sunny Ortiz Discusses 25 Year Anniversary Tour

Today I interviewed Widespread Panic percussionist Sunny Ortiz. Sunny called me from Panic’s Brown Cat offices located in the group’s hometown of Athens, Georgia. We discussed his musical influences, early days with Panic and various other topics.

This brief excerpt from today’s interview with Sunny pertains to Widespread Panic’s upcoming 25 Year Anniversary tour. Next month, Panic commences a tour that begins in Athens at The Classic Center, which stands in the exact location as The Mad Hatter Ballroom where Panic played their first official gig in 1986. Sunny sounded excited to get the rock & roll locomotive rolling…

“Oh man, it started on January 1, 2011, for us. We’re celebrating the whole year. It’s not every year you can say you’ve been doing something for 25 years. Some of us have been doing it a lot longer than 25 years. It’s a milestone that only happens once and we’re going to celebrate it.

“I remember five years ago people were telling us to celebrate at twenty years. We figured the 25-Year Anniversary is more significant, so we waited five years to celebrate. How appropriate is it to start the tour here in Athens, Georgia? We’ve become a little wiser. The music is so universal with help from people like John Keane, Johnny Sandlin and Terry Manning—that no matter what happens to us…it’s all documented. We have tons of memory, songs, footage…I was just going through a bunch of pictures today from our early years…”

It will be an interesting and historic run...more bits & pieces soon…

James Calemine


The Six Degrees of Swampland: Widespread Panic

The John Bell Interview

The Dave Schools Interview

The Todd Nance Interview

The Jimmy Herring Interview

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soupdawg says...

James....along with the other part of your JB interview that you teased a few weeks ago, I'd love to read this full Sunny interview....can't wait until you get both of them up! Thanks as always! Happy Birthday Widespread Panic!!!! Looking forward to celebrating with the boys in Indiana, PA on 4/3/11!!!!

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