9/21/06 Herring widespreading himself too thin?

Jimmy Herring, the newest guitarist for Widespread Panic, has been associated with many bands throughout his distinguished career. Most recent was Herring/Rodgers/Sipe which formed soon after the Codetalkers' Bruce Hampton was forced to stop touring due to heart illness. Codetalkers' front man Bobby Lee Rodgers teamed up with Herring, Jeff Sipe and Neal Fountain and toured through spring/summer 2006 including their headlining show at SmileFest as well as performing at the Jerry Garcia Birthday Bash in Aug 06.

According to the band's MySpace site:
"After playing seven dates in May 2006 that ended with a headlining slot at SmileFest in the mountains of North Carolina, Herring, Rodgers, Sipe and Fountain have decided to roll with this ensemble. This project will undoubtedly draw the attention of Codetalkers fans, A.R.U. fans, fans of icons The Dead and Phil Lesh and Friends and beyond."

If Herring had decided to roll with the Herring/Rodgers/Sipe ensemble then what is the future of Widespread Panic?

It would stand to reason that the band, Herring/Rodgers/Sipe, may soon change their moniker with Herring's new commitment to Panic. This leads us to assume that Herring is completely on board with Widespread, right? But if Herring has decided to roll with Widespread Panic ensemble then what is the future of Bobby Lee Rodgers and the longtime acolytes of the Codetalkers?

There has been no official word from the WP organization that Herring is actually the new official longterm guitarist for Panic other than their announcement made on August 3rd which states:

"Widespread Panic is happy to announce that Jimmy Herring will be joining the band as lead guitarist. Jimmy, who in the past, has toured with The Dead and Aquarium Rescue Unit, said he is extremely excited to join his old friends on stage this fall. The tour will start September 14th with a three day run in New York City at the legendary Radio City Music Hall.

All this would certainly lead one to beleive that Herring was not in place as the Widespread Panic guitarist any earlier than Summer 2006 and might leave one wondering if Jimmy plans to fulfill commitments made with 2 bands or perhaps if he plans on performing with Panic only on their Fall tour. Let's hope we hear something more official from WP soon concerning the future of guitarists for the band.