Jimmy Herring band revives Zambi style in Atlanta


Jimmy Herring Band
Variety Playhouse
Atlanta, GA
December 10, 2010

After the 2008 release of his first solo effort, Lifeboat, guitar virtuoso Jimmy Herring hit the road with a slew of gifted musicians including Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Sipe, both of Aquarium Rescue Unit fame, who have gone on to have stellar careers with many outfits including Allman Brothers and Leftover Salmon respectively and amongst an endless list of other notables. 

2010 would bring the second ever Jimmy Herring Band tour and again another all-star cast.  The 23 performance musical showcase began in Norfolk, VA on November 10th and Honest Tune caught up with them in Charlotte and on this night in Atlanta, the eve of their last show of the tour.

imr_7900.jpgWhile Jimmy is a North Carolina native, he currently resides outside of Atlanta, Georgia and Saturday’s show at the Variety Playhouse had a particularly sweet homecoming feel to it. After a short set change following the opening act, Duane Trucks Trio, and to resounding applause, Herring and friends, bassist Neal Fountain, pianist Matt Slocum, and drummer Jeff Sipe took the stage as Jimmy briefly looked to the crowd with an inviting ear to ear smile.  Sipe, who is perhaps better known as Apt. Q258, from his days with Col. Bruce Hampton and ARU, is an integral component to any ensemble, but especially those with Herring. Herring has said that there is no drummer with whom he would rather play and the reasons for this were abound in Atlanta. The two have been band mates at various times throughout their career and the zambiesque improvisation, that is also a fundamental component of Lifeboat, was showcased in its all of its inventive grandeur at Variety. Their collective interplay and leadership on stage was demonstrative of the camaraderie and longevity of the two members’ friendship and professional relationship. Both set the foundation for Fountain and Slocum, and the ensuing house that was built was solidly fit for the Variety’s inhabitants.  

The Jimmy Herring Band live performance contains elements that are exploratory of blues, funk, and old fashioned classic rock and roll. Atlanta was no exception.  The crowd was treated to a tack sharp performance that was highlighted by "Scapegoat Blues," "Since I’ve Been Loving You" (Instrumental, Led Zeppelin), "Impressions" (John Coltrane), and personal favorite "Miss Poopie" with its mind melting guitar shredding solos.

While it is certainly clear that Herring’s main gig remains to be his role as Widespread Panic’s lead guitarist, it is just as apparent that Herring has much more to his musical repertoire and flavor. He is a musician’s musician and one that will hopefully continue to endure for years to come.   


Sweet Dreams, Transients, New Moon,  Funky Miracle, 12 Keys / Impressions / 12 Keys, Within You, Without You, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Miss Poopie, Dawn, Sophie, Scapegoat Blues,

Encore: Gray Day, Bass, Rainbow

An audience recording of this show is available for download here

Click the thumbnail to view Ian Rawn’s Shots from the show!