White Summer

White Summer were a Chicago-area rock trio that was active during the mid-1970s.

Members: Jimmy Watkins (lead vocals, guitar, drums, percussion), Rick Lowe (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals), David Wheeler (bass, backing vocals)

In 1976, the band self-released a homonymous longplayer. Recorded on a shoestring at Uncle Dirty’s Sound Machine Studio in Kalamazoo, Mich., the album hints of the band’s epic if underfunded potential.

The tick-tock tonic/third bassline of “The Tank” is flanked left and right by the other two instruments until the trio is sucked into a 5/4 windmill. Minutes later, tom-enswirled chordal sustains frame brief lyrical passages concerning immortality.

An oft-syncopated/tom-rolled pogo beat facilitates the twisty fretboard interplay of “Misty Morning,” which soon rescinds to slow lyrical verses in D#min.

A tone-darting bass ostinato in Fmin propels Lowe’s wailing runs during the middle of “Omega,” which grapples with omniscient concerns over the course of it generous length. Further bass/guitar dexterity is displayed in fifth gear over the half-step progression that mark’s this number’s climax.

Befitting to its topic, “Laugh When I Die” sears and drills Wheeler’s down-tuned tonal end like a jackhammer through granite. Back a side, “Sail” evolves from mid-paced, tom-bombarded strums and bends to an intensified, maraca-sprayed trio workout.

The members of White Summer would never record again, though their lone album has witnessed a cult resurgent amidst several reissues during the 21st century.

2 thoughts on “White Summer

  1. This was and is my band! Now and then I Google our name and often find something new about us. This article really surprised me. I love it! I will only add that White Summer did reform and produce four more albums after this one and we still perform twice a year in our hometown as a reunion concert.

  2. Very nice review, thank you.
    I enjoyed writing and playing the bass on this album. Rhythm guitar on “Without A Sound” was also written by me. However, on the album Rick played it. It is a pleasure to know that this White Summer album is still interesting to so many after all of this time.
    David Wheeler

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