Cover Story-July 2020 - White Witch
Keeping the Dream Alive
By: Rachel Rocks
White Witch didn’t let the crazy pandemic stop them, they were busy, recording and releasing their 4th CD, “Hell is Doomed” which was just released on June 27th. A week earlier they released their first single off the album, “Underneath the Lights”. This song was a great choice for the early release, it is a song about inspiration and proving that White Witch and their songs are part of God’s dream. You can pick up copies of their new album at Sonic Ascension Records in Montoursville, Robert M. Sides in Williamsport, K&S Music in South Williamsport, and all of the Gallery of Sound locations in NEPA. For all of the people that prefer to stream their music, it's also available on CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes and Spotify.
White Witch has been together for 35 years! That is definitely not an easy feat, and when I asked lead singer, Jeff Pittinger, what’s the secret to staying together so long, his answer, “loyalty, respect, and trust, plus it helps that I am the most determined, dedicated, and driven lead singer I know of!” Jeff considers himself blessed to still have two other original members in the band, Doug Lehman on lead guitar, and Carl Berry on drums. For the CD they also added in Jimmy Lovcik on bass guitar. Jeff wanted to mention their original bass player, George Warner, aka Jack Death, who not only helped get this band started, but also helped them with writing a lot of their songs. They’ve also been lucky to have Bret Alexander play his B-3 organ on “The Seed” which was on their self-titled album, “White Witch.”
As an original band that only throws in a couple of stellar cover songs here and there, they are of course, always writing. Doug and Jeff work together to come up with the music and the lyrics to all of their songs. Sometimes they can’t physically be together to hammer out ideas, but they don’t mess with all of the newest technology, they like to go old school and they still record tracks on CDs, and send them through the mail for the other one to hear and add to it. It might take some extra time, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was White Witch!
White Witch has always had the philosophy “Never Dies the Dream”… when they were putting together this last album, “Hell is Doomed,” out of the blue, they got a call from the owner of Heaven and Hell Records offering them a deal. It seemed like a match made in heaven.. and they signed the deal and they were able to get this new album mastered and off to the press a lot faster than they could’ve possibly done on their own. After they signed the deal, they couldn’t help but to reflect on how far they’ve come since the beginning in 1984. They’ve had to overcome a lot of things to get to where they are today. They are just so happy to be alive and well in this day and age, and in this music scene, and they are just proud to be part of God’s dream.
In their 35 years they’ve played well over 500 shows, but no one could’ve ever imagined how badly this virus thing messed up bands’ shows, and ultimately their livelihood. Jeff luckily has another business that kept him busy during the pandemic, he is also the owner and producer of Pennsylvania Pipeline Music-TV. They film the best original bands and music from and around the tri-state area and edit the songs and interviews into episodes for social media and TV. If he’s able to get enough bands and film by the Fall, he has the opportunity to have his show on two major TV stations here in PA, WYLN in Hazleton, and WHVL in State College. He is extremely grateful to Jeff Bonomo at WYLN and Penny Hain at WHVL for believing in him. He is currently working on recording Season 5. They currently have 3 concerts and filming events coming up: Saturday, July 25th wit Callie E. Tomblin, Mallory Scoppa Gardner, Leo & KG with Family Tradition and Black Rose Thorn; Saturday, August 8th Stephanie & the Wild Hearts, Brandi LM & the Bottomshelf, Corina Aucker, and The Heartstrings; Saturday, Oct. 3rd White Witch will be there and ready to rock, there will be more bands added to the list soon! All of these events are open to the public, and they are free, but they need to know who all is coming, especially now, to make sure they are still able to practice safe social distancing. They are always looking for donations, sponsorships, and/or commercial spots, to help offset their costs. Jeff does want to thank all of his current sponsors: Coors Light, Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships, Hull’s Landing, Elery Nau Hardware, and RA Time Capsule.
Of course, when you’re in a band for 35 years there are a lot of people who helped you out along the way, some of which are still helping them today. Jeff first wanted to thank all of his band members of White Witch, Doug, Carl, & Jimmy, and also the band members of his other projects that all get along beautifully and work together to help make the magic happen: Monster Track Supergroup (Bret Alexander and Jeremy Hummel), and the Betty Ford All-Stars (James Dowling, Matthew Colegrove, Jason Miller, Steve Kepner and Bill Zimmerman). Also, his Pipeline Team: Heath Reese, Alissa Reese, Shellie Mingle, and Crystal Lee, plus Chris Peters at Nova 6 for doing his editing.
A band isn’t a band without their fans, they also want to thank everyone that has supported them by either buying a ticket to the shows or buying their CDs, and liking their posts on Facebook, it means the world to them! They also want to thank everyone at the PA Musician Magazine for all their support over the years, Jim Price for coming to our shows and taking cool pics and the awesome drawings he does. (We, the PA Musician Magazine, want to thank Jeff, for always believing in us and advertising his various projects in our pages for 35 years!). Ted Minier at WZXR for all his support over many years, and Jeremy H. at Heaven and Hell Records for hooking us up, and making “Hell is Doomed” a reality.
A super special huge thank you goes to Jeff’s Dad for always believing in him and encouraging him to follow his dreams.. and lastly, he wants to thank God for believing in them and keeping this dream alive, against all odds.
To get White Witch booked at your venue or private party, you can give Jeff a call, 570-220-3915, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow them at facebook.com/1whitewitch.