Jimmy Herring has been a busy man since the day he decided to pick up a guitar. Flown into the world of Jam and improvisation under the wing of the late Col. Bruce Hampton in the late 80’s, Herring has found his own way in the ensuing 30 years, in part by masterminding Jazz is Dead and leading himself into a seat with Phil Lesh and Friends, The Other Ones, and The Dead. Everywhere Herring takes his guitar, a bright soulful light does follow.
During a brief lull in a decade of relentless touring with Widespread Panic, the here and now finds Herring taking time to pay homage while making new waves with his new band “The Invisible Whip.” The fuel for the fire is an ode, of sorts, to Col. Bruce Hampton and the musical magic he spread. True friend, and fellow founding member of the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Jeff Sipe, will be holding down his usual seat; keeping funky time and rhythm behind Herring on the drums. Matt Slocum and Kevin Scott, on the keys and bass respectively, learned from and loved Col. Bruce while earning their stripes playing with the likes of Oteil Burbridge, Susan Tedeschi, B.B. King, and Phil Lesh. Rounding out the Invisible Whip lineup is multi-instrumentalist Jason Crosby who has kept busy touring with Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton and The Blind boys of Alabama in recent years.
The Invisible Whip tour highlights Jimmy Herring – for the first time in five years – playing his personal compositions and fronting his own band. Coming off of a three night Georgia run, this Friday and Saturday (July 28 and 29) Jimmy, Jeff (both North Carolina Natives) and the boys treat themselves to a bit of a homecoming stint at the intimate Isis Music Hall in West Asheville, North Carolina; before hitting Charlotte on their way up North.
Written by Seth Davis
Photo by Anna Norwood