Season Of The Witch

Originally composed by Donovan (on the movie soundtrack, & Sunshine Superman LPs), Season Of The Witch reaches beyond Donavon’s typical, mushy, hippie folk bleatings. The song begins with a sparse funky guitar riff that quickly hooks the listener. The beat follows. Donovan’s strained vocals come in and it all comes together… What a great song.

As is often the case with songs of this calibre, following it’s initial release several other artists soon offered their interpretations (**), broadening the scope of interest.

The smokey, tripped-out blues version on the Super Session LP (w/ Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, & Stephen Stills) is probably the one most easily excavated. This one can be found in most $5 bins at most record stored. Not only is this LP a fairly good listen, their Season Of The Witch was sampled by Pharcyde to anchor the ghetto smack-talkin’ Ya Mama.

In 1968, another terrific version of this song was released by Julie Driscol (w/ Brian Auger & The Trinity). Julie’s vocal style aptly suits the subject matter of the track, and this is reinforced by the band’s haunting rendition (including a superb, minimal breakdown with Auger at the helm).

(**) Other notable covers: Vanilla Fudge, Lou Rawls (produced by D. Axelrod), Terry Reid, Sam Gopal

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