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WHITE WITCH

Heavy Prog • United States


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White Witch biography
WHITE WITCH were formed, principally out of the Tampa area band 'The Tropics' in 1971, by Ron Goedert (vocals), Charles Richardson (guitars), Hardin Pendergrass (keyboards), Robert Shea (drums) and Loyall Fischer (bass). After touring around the South East USA, they were signed to Capricorn Records, a label specialising in Southern Rock bands, such as the ALLMAN BROTHERS and MARSHALL TUCKER bands; exposure which led to them opening for established acts like ALICE COOPER and GRAND FUNK RAILROAD.

Their name was a paean to 'white magic', as opposed to the 'black magic' image, conjured by groups like BLACK SABBATH and others within the early heavy/doom metal scene. As the group announced before their shows: "To bring good where there once was evil, to bring love where there once was hate, to bring wisdom where there once was ignorance; this is the power of White Witch".

Although they released two albums through Capricorn Records, tensions between the band and the label resulted in personnel changes within the line-up. Both the bassist and drummer were consequently replaced by Charlie Souza and Bill Peterson respectively, between the release of 1972's eponymous debut to the recording of 1974's follow up, 'A Spiritual Greeting'. Nevertheless, tensions with the record label continued, leading to guitarist Richardson's departure after the second album was recorded. Although he was replaced, and material was being written and recorded for a third studio, the band eventually disbanded, after having committed only four tracks to demo.

Although attempts have been made at pigeon-holing WHITE WITCH as a Psychedelic/ Glam/ Southern Melodic Rock band, even such a tag has limitations, as their deceptively eclectic style also encompasses Art Rock and Progressive tendencies with a hint of Southern Boogie. It may be argued that, along with fellow record company stable-mates CAPTAIN BEYOND, their particular brand of quirkiness was difficult for the label to market, as it sat outside the sphere of what was deemed contemporary and acceptable within the saturated Southern Rock music market of the era. That said, their legacy of soaring guitar work, backed with rumbling organ and effervescent Moog synthesiser will be enjoyed by fans of a diverse range of established 70's acts such as ROXY MUSIC, DAVID BOWIE, MARC BOLAN and ALICE COOPER. Meanwhile, the musical legacy of WHITE WITCH can clearly be heard in more modern, neo-Glam acts, such as UK's THE DARKNESS.read more

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A Spiritual Greeting [Remaster]A Spiritual Greeting [Remaster]
Remastered
Capricorn / Umgd 1999
Audio CD$24.99
$28.79 (used)
home grown girl / mono 45 rpm singlehome grown girl / mono 45 rpm single
CAPRICORN
Vinyl$7.99 (used)
walk on / mono 45 rpm singlewalk on / mono 45 rpm single
CAPRICORN
Vinyl$8.00 (used)
HOME GROWN GIRL/ HELP ME LORD(45/7HOME GROWN GIRL/ HELP ME LORD(45/7")
CAPICORN 0025
Vinyl$5.00 (used)
white witch LPwhite witch LP
CAPRICORN
Vinyl$12.00 (used)
PowerPower
Nightmare 2004
Audio CD$34.97
$10.99 (used)
A Spiritual Greeting [Remaster] Original recording remastered Edition by White Witch (1999) Audio CDA Spiritual Greeting [Remaster] Original recording remastered Edition by White Witch (1999) Audio CD
Capricorn / Umgd
Audio CD$89.96
help me lord / mono 45 rpm singlehelp me lord / mono 45 rpm single
CAPRICORN
Vinyl$11.99 (used)
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WHITE WITCH discography


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WHITE WITCH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 6 ratings
White Witch
1972
3.00 | 4 ratings
A Spiritual Greeting
1974

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WHITE WITCH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Spiritual Greeting by WHITE WITCH album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.00 | 4 ratings

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A Spiritual Greeting
White Witch Heavy Prog

Review by AmericanProgster

3 stars A Spiritual Greeting is White Witch's second and unfortunately last album. This album is even more diverse in genre than their debut.

We'll All Ride High (Money Bags) is pretty much a cross between Aerosmith and the quirkiness of White Witch.

Slick Witch is a pure southern rock/boogie number with glam rock thrown into the mix. An interesting but successful crossover. Very catchy, it'll have you singing it for the next month or so! I love it!

Walk On is another one of those songs that only White Witch could do so perfectly. Amazing vocal harmonies, non of the musicians are amateurs on this. Wonderful use of keyboards with an extremely memorable guitar solo.

Class of 2000 is definitely White Witch's most recognized works. Great guitar work by Buddy Richardson, this is definitely one of the more progressive songs from this album. Ronn Goedert's vocals are especially superb on this song.

Showdown is an organ led song. Along with Slick Witch, you'll be singing this song for months to come!

Crystallize and Realize is a short proggy synthesizer and acoustic guitar led song. Its so beautiful that one would have to hear it in order to understand, no good way to describe it. Just amazing.

Black Widow Lover always seemed out of place after the previous song and before the next. Its a nice pop song with some southern rock and glam rock thrown in. Along, of course, by the excellent musicianship of White Witch.

Aunti Christy/Harlow is White Witch's best recordings. Pure heavy prog heaven! With a guitar riff and Ronn Goedert's best vocal piece ever, this is one song that really determines whether you buy this album or not. Amazing guitar solos and nice keyboarding is all one could ask for, and you get it.

Now with all of that said I have to say that this is not a very progressive album. I'm giving it 3 stars for 3 of White Witch's best progressive wrks: Class of 2000, Crystallize and Realize, and Aunti Christy/Harlow would fit perfectly on their debut album.

Both of White Witch's albums are not only suberb in their own respects, but they really stand the test of time. 3 Stars

-AP

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 White Witch by WHITE WITCH album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.00 | 6 ratings

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White Witch
White Witch Heavy Prog

Review by AmericanProgster

4 stars It seems that White Witch's second album, A Spiritual Greeting, is seen by most people as their most progressive. Which really confuses me.

Now don't get me wrong, both WW albums are a mix bag of stuff. Ranging from spaced out heavy prog to psychedelic pop. BUT when it comes to prog rock, and which album is more consistently prog, then this album is what you're looking for.

The album opens up with Parabrahm Greeting/ Dwellers Of The Threshold, which is a great heavy prog/space rock intro with soaring vocals, great keyboard and guitar effects. The song then starts picking up and turns into a heavy prog wonder. Awesome. The song then segues into Help Me Lord.

Help Me Lord is an organ led prog number. Great vocals and keyboards throughout.

Don't Close You Mind is perhaps their most progressive song. A lot of synthesizer use in this one. As usual great vocal harmonies thanks to Ronn Goedert. There's some nice added touches of the wah-wah pedal. About midway through there is a brief bass and acoustic guitar part which quickly changes to a great guitar and keyboard jam. A truly great song throughout.

Your the One is where WW starts to turn out their wonderful prog with pop sensibilities. Another wah-wah and synthesizer led beauty which segues into Sleepwalk.

Sleepwalk is just one of their most beautiful songs. This song is led by synthesizers with some nice acoustic guitar playing along, then near the end Buddy Richardson does a brief jazz guitar solo and breaks out a searing guitar solo.

Home Grown Girl is a blues/boogie number, which I could do without, but is still a great song. Singer Ronn Goedert has a rougher style on this song, as apposed to a more melodic and mellow style on most of WW's material.

And I'm Leaving is another catchy song. Supposedly this was a minor hit for them in the US in 1972, barely missing the top 40.

Illusion is another highlight of this album. One of their heavier songs with Ronn Goedert giving his performance of a life time. As apposed to the rest of the album, this song is mainly guitar led. Keyboard wise there are organ and synthesizers playing along with the main guitar riff. Absolutely amazing song.

The album takes a huge turn with It's So Nice to be Stoned. As you can guess this is a stoner's anthem, its a wonder that its not more well known.

The album then closes with Have You Ever Thought of Changing?/Jackson Slade and The Gift which follows suite with the rest of the album.

This album is White Witch at their best, absolutely amazing. 4 Stars

-AP

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 A Spiritual Greeting by WHITE WITCH album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.00 | 4 ratings

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A Spiritual Greeting
White Witch Heavy Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars The period of 1972-1975 was a really weird time for American popular culture, and of course that included music. Progressive music, such as we had managed to generate on this side of the pond, was largely in decline in favor of Southern boogie bands, dance music and the dulcet, silky smooth tones of the likes of Barry Manilow, Hall & Oates, the Carpenters and whatever Steve Miller had turned into.

Fundamentalist Christians were hard at work saving their children from certain destruction and a fast- track to hell by salaciously burning every ‘heathen rock’ album or 8-track they could lay their hands on. I personally witnessed everything from Black Sabbath to Rod Stewart go up in smoke in the parking lot of my parents’ church during Sunday evening ‘sin roasts’. Collectors today can probably thank those lunatics for single-handedly helping ensure the scarcity of a lot of original vinyl from those days.

Out of the deep South (and especially Florida), Southern boogie was thriving on the heels of the megalithic Lynyrd Skynyrd juggernaut. Spin-off and clone bands like .38 Special, Molly Hatchet, Rossington-Collins, the Outlaws and Blackfoot were filling stadiums and the airwaves with varying degrees of success. On the other side of the musical spectrum acts like KISS, Alice Cooper, the Stooges and Suzi Quatro were mixing stage antics with simple, heavy rhythms to popularize an American version of glam rock. Disco and punk were yet to invade the landscape in any appreciable way (although those days weren’t far away).

In the religious vein the Jesus Freak movement had pretty much died along with the flower-power era, with groups like Water Into Wine Band, Children of the Day and Silmaril giving way to the more contemporary and commercial sounds of Andraé Crouch, Amy Grant and Petra. There were still a few Christian-leaning groups like Kansas and Ambrosia who managed straddle the line between progressive and religious music, but for the most part it was really a time to choose sides for American bands who wanted to attract one audience without alienating the other. Into this environment strode White Witch toward the middle part of the decade.

White Witch were either ahead of their time, incredibly naïve, or maybe a little of both as they launched their career from suburban Tampa Florida, quickly signing with Georgia-based Capricorn Records, flagship of hard-core Southern rock acts like the Allman Brothers and Elvin Bishop. The band’s ostensibly glam persona made them practically un-promotable by the label, and frustration with the label’s handling (particularly with some of the wholly unrelated acts they were co-billed with on tour), as well as the poor terms of their contract led to numerous lineup changes over the course of the band’s brief existence. They would disband shortly after this, their second album, was released in 1974.

I was introduced to the band’s music by the same guy who turned me on to David Bowie and T. Rex, and they seemed to mostly fit into the same general glam-rock category. Their music doesn’t fit into any clear category though, and their attempt to ride the musical mainstream while at the same time flying the Christian flag surely alienated a lot of religious parents anyway, and probably limited them as far as career options as well.

The most well-known and memorable track on this album (and probably in the band’s career) is the reality-challenged “Class of 2000”, a Bowie-esque rambling tale of kids growing up on the Moon getting high off sound waves, school deans with “mind whips” and class lessons recorded on “Saturn history tapes”. Despite the cheesy lyrics the tune features some decent guitar work and what actually sounds like a suspiciously Allman-like instrumental break toward the end. “Slick Witch” is another track that wanders well into boogie blues territory despite the glam trappings (Alice Cooper was guilty of that pleasure at times himself).

The rest of the album shifts around musically. “Showdown” is an organ heavy anthem-like rocker, while “Crystallize and Realize” manages to come across as a sort of psych-inspired pop tune in the vein of Klaatu or maybe something Jeff Lynne might have penned. “Auntie Christy, Harlow” leans straight into heavy prog with a wicked bass line and plenty of percussion backing vocalist Ron Goedert’s rather preachy lyrics about worshiping “the Beast” and hell and damnation, etc., etc.

My personal favorite is the uncharacteristically laid-back “Walk On” with its simple beat, bluesy guitar breaks and harmonized vocals. Not progressive, boogie or really even rock, but a catchy tune nonetheless.

White Witch unfortunately didn’t have a chance in the time they existed considering the social climate and temperament of the religious class they claimed kinship with but failed to embrace theologically. Too bad, as they did exhibit a decidedly experimental and broad stylistic bent. This is the better of their two studio albums but still doesn’t merit much more than a ‘decent’ rating; so three stars out of five it is and a mild recommendation to fans of glam rock and American heavy rock from the mid- seventies.

peace

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