It's October, so here's another ten spooky recordings for ya. Donovan Leitch (official myspace wiki AMG) wrote and recorded "Season of the Witch" in 1966. It's a perfect, almost obligatory garage jam -- only two chords, with incredible atmosphere and a perfect skeleton to hang your own improvisations and musical ideas on. (I spent some time at archive.org this week, and downloaded 21 live versions from 21 different artists, which should give you an idea of the popularity among jam bands.)
The covers of this song started right away -- here we have The Little Boy Blues' take from 1967, and Sam Gopal's magnificently fuzzy, amped-up version from 1968 (via). The Dedikation (via) were a New Zealand group, and their 1969 cover has the tastiest organ licks this side of Al Kooper. Speaking of Mr. Kooper, we're also hearing his version with Steven Stills and Mike Bloomfield, from their 1968 Super Session album (featuring Donovan's drummer "Fast" Eddie Hoh).
G. Love and Special Sauce want to play you a representative jamband version, Lou Rawls adds his distinctive jazzy soul touch to the song, and Jenny DeVivo turns the song into a techie dance groove, complete with obscure audio samples.
Finally, we're going to hear two of my ten favorite covers of all time. Luna's take on this song has one of the five best openings of any pop song ever (someday I'll write a post with the entire list) -- this is one of the peppiest records ever, and my favorite version of this song.
Then, my final mention of Dr. John (previously 1 2 3) for a while: his dirty, funky, greasy voodoo take on the song is not only the best thing about Blues Brothers 2000, it's quite possibly the best thing any human being did in the entirety of 1998.
I have about 30 more versions of this song, almost all of them good, so if I get any requests I'd be more than happy to put up a second volume of this song. As usual, I recommend the zipfile, but you can cherrypick if you feel like it.
Donovan 1 2
The Little Boy Blues 1 2
Sam Gopal 1 2
The Dedikation 1 2
Steven Stills, Mike Bloomfield, and Al Kooper 1 2
G. Love and Special Sauce 1 2
Lou Rawls 1 2
Jenny DeVivo 1 2
Luna 1 2
Dr. John and The Blues Brothers Band 1 2