Longtime Widespread Panic keyboardist John “JoJo” Hermann is at it again, this time with the side project Missing Cats.
While the rest of Panic is taking the month off before hitting the road again in October with The Allman Brothers, Hermann and old friend Sherman Ewing, a veteran singer-songwriter based in New York, will be touring five Southeastern cities.
The two cats have come together with only an acoustic guitar and an upright piano to create a New Orleans boogie-woogie style sound. Hermann and Ewing will play a combination of newly written songs and main songs from Hermann’s solo albums with his other side project, The Smiling Assassins.
Many of Hermann’s delta blues inspirations came from his time spent in Oxford, Miss., where he lived briefly before moving to Atlanta in the 1990s. In 1992, he joined the Athens band Widespread Panic.
Hermann and Ewing have been playing together off and on for 20 years, starting with the college band Sherman & The Bureaucrats. Over the years, the two composed quite a list of songs together. They eventually decided to put a set together and take it on the road.
The two musicians are preparing to enter the studio to record a Missing Cat’s album. This month, they’ll perform at a few of Hermann’s favorite Southern clubs, including the Pour House, where Hermann is a well-known figure. Hermann and Ewing will stay with their familiar New Orleans style, playing a lot of Professor Longhair stuff, as well as sounds from Pete Johnson, Lux Lewis, and Dr. John.
For those fans looking for a Widespread feel, Hermann says you’ll have to go to a Widespread show. They have one boogie-woogie version of “Tall Boy,” but other than that, the sound is much more relaxed.