Widespread Panic - Their best album?

I'd heard a couple of their tunes when I used to live in Chicago years ago and seem to remember I liked them. Don't remember which tunes though.

And even though I say album, I mean cd. If any are HDCD I'd also like to know that as well. Thanks.

Bombs and Butterflies ... Tallboy - Good music!

Always best to catch them live ... the "Panic in the Streets" DVD is intersting ... it has great live stuff and the video of "Aunt Avis"
Space Wrangler & Ain't Life Grand are my two.
You can listen to samples on Amazon Music.
Why dont you get a copy of Everyday? Its their 1992 release & probably their best studio release ever :) Take a listen to tracks 6 - Better Off 7 & track 7 "Pickin" those are two tracks that I often use to evaluate my system when I make changes.. Im not aware of any HDCD releases by them, but their 2 most recent studio released Ball & Dont Tell The Band are available in DVD-A
Thanks for the response Jclyle, they just played live here (Phoenix) and I didn't go see them as I still haven't bought one of their albums and am unfamiliar with their music. In any event, I will probably pick up Everyday on your recommendation, thanks.
You may also want to check out their self titled album, another great sounding disc. If you have high-speed acces, there is plenty of live material to download at digitalpanic.org there are even 24bit DVD-A recordings from their recent shows.
If you like I can send you a couple disks of WSP live shows(audience recordings) E-mail your address and I can drop in the mail, postage on me.
Saw them last night on (PBS) Austin City Limits-didn't catch what year it was recorded in. Great show, unfortunately, the recording was less than stellar.
Very talented group of musicians...

Chadburr, thank you for the offer, but wouldn't those be pretty poor recordings?
"Space Wrangler" is my favorite all-around album. I've seen them live ~8 times over the last 10-12 years. First time I saw them live was in 1995 in the aftermath Hurricane Roxanne somewhere in New Orleans.

Somewhere in the midst of a drunken blur in came across a hot frothy mug of 'shroom tea. Next thing I know, I was wandering the streets in a torrential downpour looking for music.

There was a loud din off in the distance which I followed to the State Palace Theater(actually, someone could have told me about the show, but I was beyond reality by then). Man, was that just what the doctor ordered. Armeggedon outside and glorious music raging inside. Auditory exctasy.

Of course, that was all in my youth and I can appreciate a good show without the additives. I caught their show last August at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, Ca. seemed like 3+ hours of music. My girlfriend and i actually left before the end because our legs worn out from dancing.
Caught the Austin City Limits' show again last night that I referenced on 2/4/06. I guess I was in a better frame of mind last night, 'cause I was blown away. These guys are way talanted! Again, a terrible recording for some reason though. I still have not picked up one of their albums, but after last night, my next cd purchase will definetely be W.P. Probably either Everyday or Space Wrangler. I'll see what I can get my hands on locally.

Anybody know which is the better recording of the two?
I picked up Everyday and Till the Medicine Takes. Everyday is a great album, not a bum track on it, and IMO, it is a very good recording. It is warm and inviting with great weight and bass. If you like rock, I highly recommend that you add this disc to your collection. I haven't listened too much to Till the Medicine Takes yet so I'll wait to comment on that one. But if your always looking to add some quality r&r to your collection, pick up Everyday, you won't be sorry.
perfectionist - Everyday is probably their best studio CD out there. You may want to also check out "Dont Tell The Band", its pretty damn good, and also can be found on DVD-A if you're into that. Make sure you check out some of their live stuff. check out digitalpanic.org for some goodies
For their live albums, I would recommend "Live in the Classic City" (3 disc set recorded over April 1-3, 2000). Excellent! Also, give a listen to "Light Fuse, Get Away". I believe this was recorded in 1998.

As for as studio albums go, "'Till the Medicine Takes" and "Don't Tell the Band" are worthy listens. I have them all, but these are my favorites.

I am a huge fan and have seen lots of shows in the South/ Southeast. The live recordings have an unbelievable energy and urgency. Every live show is different. Lead singer John Bell changes lyrics regularly. Solos are usually spontaneous, but they do have something to say. Not just a bunch of mindless noodling.

Studio recordings are good, but Panic is a live band. All of the more recent studio albums(from "Ball" onwards) are without original Panic cofounder/ lead guitarist Michael Houser. He passed several years ago secondary to pancreatic cancer. His style of playing and writing is irreplaceable. The band has had several guys try to fill the void, but to no avail. They are a different band these days. Still incredible, just different.
I can't believe there has been a Panic thread on Audiogon for over a year and I find it today.

Saw 2 nights in Charlotte during the last tour, and it keeps getting better. Second night was incredible.

Live recordings don't necessarily sound bad. I have several soundboard recordings, some authorized, some not, and many audience recordings (some with my own equipment), and many sound great, some only so-so.

They are an incredible band. I must echo the reccos of Everyday, which is my favorite studio album.

I gave up field recording, becuase I could always find someone with a better set of mics, etc that I could patch my D-8 into, and it beats the shit out of lugging a mic stand around. Heady Days, however.

Glad to see some additional comments on this thread. I absolutely love Everyday and it has actually become one of my "reference" recordings, especially since making some system changes shortly after picking up Everyday and Till the Medicine Takes. I don't feel that "Till" is on the same level as Everyday, music wise or recording wise. One might think that since "till" was recorded six years after "every" that it would be a better recording, but that's not the case. Same record label, but different studios and engineers. One of the ways I judge a great album is if I can listen to it from start to finish, without skipping any tracks, and it holds my attention and/or I don't get bored with it. For me, Everyday is one of those albums. And it truly is a VERY GOOD recording. It is such a mellow recording with no grain or harshness, and as I said on 9/30, the weight and bass is simply astonishing.

They have so many albums that I'm not sure which one to pick up next, and can any of them really measure up to Everyday? So, Widespread fans, given my thoughts here, what album would be the next logical step to take?
Also make sure you give the self titled CD a listen. Its often referred to as "Moms Kitchen"

Don't foget about their live stuff!
If your still looking for some WSP material I would say without a doubt Earth to America is their best yet. I have it on CD as well as vinyl. They switched producers from John Keene to Terry Manning & he has brought out some new textures from the band. John is still involved with the band but in a different role now, I think it was a positive step for the band to work with someone else to keep it fresh.

As a fan & taper for over 10 years I can say that some of the material you can download from the web is stellar, I have made some of it myself. My recent 24 bit recordings have been seeded on a few servers & are easy enough to find.

I know since Mikey passed the band has been in a constant flux but with Herring taking lead the band has really come together & morphed again into something exciting. I enjoyed all 7 nights of the past tour, all my recordings were seeded on digipanic in 24 bit if you want them. I feel this is just another step in the road for the band, this has been my band through thick & thin, I will continue to support them as long as they continue to care about making good music.