Big Wha-Koo / Wha-Koo


Band members               Related acts

- Danny Douma -- vocals, lead guitar

- Don Francisco -- percussion, vocals

- Peter Freiberger -- bass

- Richard Kosinski -- keyboards

- David Palmer (RIP) -- vocals

- Claude Pepper -- drums, percussion

- Nick van Maarth -- vocals, lead guitar

 

 

 

- Chicago (Donny Douma)

- Steely Dan (David Palmer)

 

 

 


 

 

Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Berkshire

Company: ABC

Catalog: AA-1043

Year: 1977

Country/State: California, US

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: cut lower left corner; original lyric inner sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5231

Price: $20.00

 

My interest in this band stemmed from the fact David Palmer was one of the lead singers.  Palmer had been one of Steely Dan's original vocalists and I was curious to hear what he sounded like in a different environment.

 

Abbreviating the name to Wha-Koo, released in 1977 the group's third album "Berkshire" was co-produced by the band and Ken Caillat. Musically the set wasn't anything earth shattering.  Lead guitarist Donnie Douma and Palmer shared songwriting credits on most of the nine tracks.  For his part Douma retained his knack for writing top-40ish rock material.  Tracks like 'Midnight Kitchen' and 'Rig-a-Marole' would have sounded fine on FM radio next to The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. Catchy and forgettable, it made for first-tier, if slightly anonymous California rock product.  The band was also blessed in having three strong lead singers in Douma, Palmer and Nick van Maarth.  Elsewhere, it may have been little more than wishful thinking on my part, but propelled by his pleading voice, Palmer contributions like 'Mother of Pearl', the title track and '(You're Such a) Fabulous Dancer' recalled "Can't Buy a Thrill" era Steely Dan.  The music may have been a little more conventional and the lyrics may not have been as obtuse, but the haunting sound bore more than a passing resemblance to the former.  Perhaps of interest to Steely Dan fanatics and folks who like mid-1970s Southern California rock ...

 

"Berkshire" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Rig-a-Marole   (Donny Douma - David Palmer) - 

2.) Fat Love   (Donnie Douma - David Palmer) - 

3.) Mother of Pearl   (David Palmer - Richard Kosinski) - 

4.) Midnight Kitchen   (Donny Douma) - 

5.) (You're Such a) Fabulous Dancer   (Donnie Douma - David Palmer) - 

 

(side 2)
1.) Berkshire   (Donnie Douma - David Palmer) - 

2.) I'm Here   (Donnie Douma - David Palmer) -  

3.) Expire On Me   (Donnie Douma) - 

4.) Dreaming As One   (W. Smith - David Palmer) - 

 

Unfortunately the album went nowhere and the band subsequently called it quits.  Douma subsequently replaced Terry Kath in Chicago.  

 

 

 

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