| Michael Houser|
Athens, Georgia, USA
| January 6, 1962
Boone, North Carolina (1962-01-06) |
Southern rock, Blues rock, jazz fusion, jam rock
Singer, songwriter, guitarist
Widespread Records, Capricorn, Sanctuary, Landslide Records, Supercat Records
August 10, 2002, Athens, Georgia, United States
Widespread Panic: Live From Austin TX
Sandbox, Door Harp, Widespread Panic, 'Til the Medicine Takes, Ain't Life Grand
Michael Houser Wikipedia
Michael Houser (January 6, 1962 – August 10, 2002) was a founding member and lead guitarist of the band Widespread Panic. He appeared on 7 studio albums during his 16-year tenure with the band from 1986 till 2002. He is also featured on 4 live albums by Widespread Panic (2 released posthumously), as well as several archive releases, live video concerts and compilations.
Michael "Mikey" Houser was born in Boone, North Carolina, graduated from Hixson High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and became a founding member of Widespread Panic in 1986 while attending the University of Georgia with John Bell. Michael's adolescent nickname was "Panic" due to his then frequent panic attacks, and this moniker later became the inspiration for the band's name.
Widespread Panic's large rhythm section, and John Bell's virtuosity as a rhythm guitarist, allowed Michael to pursue an atmospheric lead guitar style that often lingered behind the primary melodies. His predominant use of the Ernie Ball volume pedal caused him to spend most of his performance time balanced on one leg, this would eventually lead to circulation problems causing his left leg to become numb. In 1996, during an acoustic tour known as the "Sit and Ski" tour, he was reminded of how much more comfortable and accurate his playing was while he was seated. Subsequently, Houser returned to playing all shows seated in 1997. His playing style used a volume pedal for sonic effect, rather than just for volume control.
Widespread Panic always shared writing credits for all of their songs during the Houser era, but he wrote many of the band's standards, including Porch Song, Airplane, Ain't Life Grand, The Waker, Impossible, B of D, and Vacation.
Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the spring of 2002, he died August 10 of that year, at the age of 40. A solo album of his instrumentals entitled Door Harp was released after his death, and was followed by Sandbox in 2006. He is survived by his wife Barbette and two children, Waker and Eva.
Widespread Panic has continued to tour and record after Houser's passing as was his wish.
Houser played a discontinued Fender Telecaster Deluxe Plus. This guitar is a Telecaster body with Stratocaster hardware. Houser purchased his first Telecaster Deluxe Plus second hand in 1991. A guitar lasted him about five years, needing to be replaced "'cause [he] sweated into [them] so much". Fender made two custom-remake replacements with his preferred discontinued Firestorm finish. Houser claimed of the three guitars, "they're as close as modern science can get"
These guitars had Lace Sensor pickups (a Blue at the neck, and a dual Red at the bridge with a mini switch to split them), a Strat-style tremolo behind the metal place surrounding the bridge pickups, and a roller nut. Houser didn’t like to use a whammy bar, preferring to pull up on the tail of the bridge instead. The mini switch is in between the volume and tone pots. This allows for a wider array of tones than a standard Telecaster. On most Telecasters, you can choose neck, bridge, or both pickups simultaneously. With the dual Reds in the bridge being splittable, you can choose neck, bridge dual, bridge single, or combinations of neck and dual bridge as well as neck and single bridge.
Houser's signature sound was also due to his use of Soldano SLO-100 Super Lead Overdrive Heads through a Mesa Boogie Quarterback 2x12 Cabinet. He played Medium Gauge D'Addario Strings.
His effects included the Soldano Surf Box Spring Reverb / Tremolo / Vibrato unit, a Boss GE-7 Equalizer, the Ernie Ball 6166 Mono Volume Pedal, a TC Electronic TCF Chorus/Flanger and a Kendrick Model 1000 Tube Reverb.
Source:2002 Door Harp - Sanctuary Records
2006 Sandbox - Supercat Records
1988 Space Wrangler - Landslide Records
1991 Widespread Panic - Capricorn Records
1993 Everyday - Capricorn Records
1994 Ain't Life Grand - Capricorn Records
1997 Bombs & Butterflies - Capricorn Records
1999 'Til the Medicine Takes - Capricorn Records
2001 Don't Tell the Band - Widespread Records
2007 Choice Cuts: The Capricorn Years 1991-1999 - Capricorn Records
1998 Light Fuse, Get Away - Capricorn Records
2002 Live in the Classic City - Widespread Records
2004 Jackassolantern - Widespread Records
2010 Live in the Classic City II - Widespread Records
2008 Carbondale 2000 Recorded live at Southern Illinois University Arena in Carbondale, Illinois on December 1, 2000
2009 Valdosta 1989 Recorded live at The Armory in Valdosta, Georgia on April 8, 1989
2009 Huntsville 1996 Recorded live at Von Braun Civic Center Arena in Huntsville, Alabama on April 3, 1996
2009 Montreal 1997 Recorded live at Club Soda in Montreal, Canada on September 6, 1997
2010 Johnson City 2001 Recorded live at Freedom Hall in Johnson City, TN on November 20, 2001
2011 Colorado Springs 1998 Recorded live at City Auditorium in Colorado Springs, Colorado on October 20, 1998
2011 History Lesson New Years 1997 Recorded live at Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia on December 31, 1997
2013 Oak Mountain 2001 - Night 1 Recorded live at Oak Mountain Amphitheatre in Pelham, Alabama on July 27, 2001
2009 Mud Island '97 Recorded live at Mud Island Amphitheater Arena in Memphis, Tennessee on July 18 & 19, 1997
2010 June 2001 Santa Fe Recorded live at Paolo Soleri, Santa Fe, New Mexico June 19 & 20, 2001
2010 Wilmington, DE 2001 Recorded live at Kahuna Summer Stage in Wilmington, Delaware on July 22, 2001
2010 Milwaukee, WI 1996 Recorded live at Modjeska Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 1, 1996
2010 Chicago, IL 1996 Recorded live at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, Illinois on October 31, 1996
2010 Morrison, CO 1996 Recorded live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado on May 31, 1996
2011 Jackson, WY '96 Recorded live at Snow King Center Arena in Jackson, WY on February 6 & 7, 1996
2011 Geneva, MN 2001 Recorded live at Harmony Park Music Garden in Geneva, Minnesota on July 4, 2001
2012 Omaha, NE 1997 Recorded live at Ranch Bowl in Omaha, Nebraska on July 1, 1997
1995 Nine High a Pallet – Capricorn Records
2002 Co-Balt – Widespread Records
2001 Smiling Assassin – Fat Possum Records
2002 Conscious Contact - Terminus Records
1994 Good Luck Charm – Backdoor Records
1999 Out Of State Plates - Pretty Mean Records
1992 The Mother Of All Flagpole Christmas Albums - with Widespread Panic - Long Play Records
1993 The Best of Mountain Stage Live, Vol. 5 - with Widespread Panic - Blue Plate Records
1994 Better Than A Poke In The Eye - with Widespread Panic - Long Play Records
1995 Hempilation: Freedom Is NORML - with Widespread Panic - Capricorn Records
1996 Five Ring Circus - with brute. - Flip Records
1997 To the Extreme - with Widespread Panic - American Recordings
2002 Crowd Around The Mic Vol. 6 - with brute. - WNCW Records
2002 Live From Bonnaroo - with Widespread Panic - Sanctuary Records
2003 Carved In Stone - with Widespread Panic - Harvest Media Group