Widespread Panic Drummer Todd Nance Passes

Original Widespread Panic drummer Todd Nance passed away on August 19 in Athens, Georgia from what his family, in a statement released that afternoon, termed “sudden and unexpectedly severe complications of a chronic illness.” No further details were given.

Nance, who was 57, met future Widespread Panic founding guitarist Michael Houser while they were attending the same Chattanooga high school, and they formed a band called Just Us. Upon graduating in 1981, Nance moved to Atlanta and Houser to Athens, where he and Panic founding guitarist/vocalist John Bell struck up a friendship while residing in the same UGA dorm building. By early 1986 the formative lineup of Widespread Panic was gelling, and Houser called his old high school pal Nance to invite him to play drums.

Nance played with Panic until the fall of 2014, when he took a temporary leave of absence to attend to “personal matters.” He rejoined the group for four shows in February 2016, but immediately afterward the band announced that Nance was out and that his “temporary” fill-in, Duane Trucks, was now the official new drummer.

Outside of Panic, with William Tonks, John Neff, Bloodkin bassist Jon Mills and others Nance co-founded Barbara Cue in 1997, a group originally formed as an NRBQ cover band but which quickly began performing and recording original music. More recently, his short-lived group Interstellar Boys, which included Neff, Mills, Jerry Joseph, Outformation’s Sam Holt and Bloodkin’s Daniel Hutchens, debuted in 2017, and he often performed as Todd Nance & Friends along with Neff, Mills, Hutchens and others. He was also known to sit in with the likes of Bloodkin, Dyrty Byrds and the North Mississippi Allstars when the mood struck.