If the jam world and improvisational music scene was a cupboard, Jimmy Herring would be the bread. Throughout his storied tenure on the scene, Herring has played in some of the most influential ensembles of them all — from his past with The Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Allman Brothers and Phil Lesh and Friends to his present as Widespread Panic’s lead guitarist. He has stood in the shadows of some of the scene’s most idolized stalwarts, from those that he never met like Jerry Garcia to peers that he knew well like Michael Houser. In turn, he has cast a shadow that is now all his own for players that will attempt to follow his lead.
When the phone rang last week, no one could have fathomed what would shortly ensue. What was planned to be a standard Q&A turned into an hour long conversation that literally covered the bases of the guitar hero’s career, and to some extent, the last twenty or so years of his life.
Without an arrogant speck in his pioneer soul, Herring talked vastly about friendships, musical camaraderie, influences, charity, his love of the guitar, the recent ARU reunion at the Georgia Theatre and so much more… and he did so with a tone of gratitude and honesty that is unfortunately all too rare.
Past, Present & Future: an All Points in Between Conversation with Jimmy Herring