Released: Feb 1988
Of all the original H.O.R.D.E. jam bands, Widespread Panic was the only one you could envision sharing stages with the Dead and the Allmans way back in the early '70s. As the band's debut, Space Wrangler, makes clear, these dudes grew up immersed in jam rock's standards, as well as Desire-era Dylan and more obscure heads like J.J. Cale. More important, the band balances extended improv with great songwriting, something the Panic's peers, including Phish and Blues Traveler, had trouble achieving.