George McConnell

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George McConnell
McConnell performing at Hal n Mal's in Jackson, Mississippi in 2008
Background information
OriginVicksburg, Mississippi, USA
GenresSouthern rock, blues, blues-rock, roots rock, country rock, jam rock
Occupation(s)Musician, singer
InstrumentsElectric guitar, vocals
Years active1980s–present
Associated actsWidespread Panic, Beanland, Kudzu Kings, George McConnell & The Nonchalants

George McConnell is an American musician from Vicksburg, Mississippi who played for Widespread Panic, Kudzu Kings, and Beanland. He attended the University of Mississippi where he was in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

McConnell co-founded Beanland in Oxford, Mississippi in 1985 with guitarist Bill McCrory. After some early shuffling, the band's line-up consisted of McConnell and McCrory on guitar, John Hermann on keyboards, Ron Lewis on bass, and Harry Peel on drums. The band recorded a self-titled debut album in 1991 and toured extensively, mainly around the south and southwest, playing blues-oriented rock as part of the nascent early-1990s jamband renaissance.

McConnell went on to play for several years in the country rock band Kudzu Kings, eventually leaving to devote his time to a guitar store he opened in Oxford.

In 2002, following Widespread Panic guitarist Michael Houser's diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, McConnell and saxophone player Randall Bramblett were asked to accompany Widespread Panic on the band's summer tour. Initially McConnell sat in for a few songs per show to add support to Houser's playing, however when Houser was unable to complete the tour McConnell filled in as the lead guitarist. McConnell was named as the new lead guitarist in the band following Houser's death in August 2002.

McConnell served as Widespread Panic's lead guitarist for four years from 2002–2006, recording two studio albums and three live albums with the band. His last show with the band was July 30, 2006, in St. Louis, Missouri.[1]

In 2008, McConnell began performing with a new band, George McConnell & The Nonchalants. McConnell is debuting his new batch of tunes exclusively via digital download on his new website As a throwback to his early days of discovering new music, he’s releasing the songs in a “Virtual 45” format, with the songs available only as a pair—just like the “A-side” and “B-side” of a 45 RPM single. [2]

In 2012, George McConnell was asked to fill in for guitarist John Neff for a series of year-end shows for the Drive-By Truckers.

On March 27, 2014, George McConnell was the subject of the Mississippi Public Broadcasting television show, "Oxford Sounds," along with Mississippi heavy metal group The Cooters. The TV show was broadcast statewide on public television. George McConnell & The Nonchalants played three songs on the show, including "A Thousand Things," "Must Not Mind," and the Beanland classic "Doretha." McConnell was interviewed by Cooters frontman Newt Rayburn.[3]

Discography and videography[edit]


  • Beanland (1991, HiCool Records) Produced by Jim Dickinson and engineered by Don Smith
  • Eye to Eye (1993, HiCool Records) Produced and engineered by Don Smith
  • Rising From the Riverbed - DVD (2004, Cloudscapes Productions) Produced and directed by Scotty Glahn(includes bonus CD sampler of bands from the era)

Kudzu Kings[edit]

  • Kudzu Kings (1997) Produced by Jim Gaines and engineered by Jeffrey Reed
  • Y2Kow (1999) Produced and engineered by Jeffrey Reed

Widespread Panic[edit]

George McConnell[edit]

  • Singles only (2009)
  • Cheers, Sports Fans! (2013)

John Hermann[edit]


  1. ^ "Everyday Companion Online - 07/29/06 Mid-South Coliseum". Retrieved 2010-05-07.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "George McConnell and The Cooters to be featured on March 27 PBS Television Show". Retrieved 2014-03-20.