Widespread Panic and Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit topped the bill at this past weekend’s Sweetwater 420 Fest in Atlanta, with the two Southern roots-based bands closing out the festival’s main stage with back-to-back performances on Sunday. Following a set with his own group, Isbell stuck around with his guitar and joined Widespread Panic — stalwart jam heroes from nearby Athens, Georgia — for a rousing rendition of ZZ Top’s “Jesus Just Left Chicago.”
With a soulful growl, Widespread frontman John Bell handled lead vocals on the bluesy staple originally found on 1973’s Tres Hombres. After the final verse, a bounding groove left open space for a barrage of fret fireworks that culminated with Isbell and guitarist Jimmy Herring engaging in playful call-and-response licks.
Isbell previously jammed with Widespread back in 2016, joining the band for a soaring version of J.J. Cale’s “Ride Me High” in Raleigh, North Carolina. The artists could potentially meet again this summer, as they’re both on the lineup at the Ride Festival in Telluride, Colorado, in July.
Isbell and the 400 Unit next perform at the Double Decker Arts Festival in Oxford, Mississippi, on April 27th. Widespread Panic will headline the Trondossa Music and Arts Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, on April 27thand 28th.