The Return of Summer Soundtrack: Local Rock Favorite Is Back in Force


Photo by Joel Southall
Photo by Joel Southall

Summer Soundtrack, one of Corvallis’ most well-known bands, is a predominantly hard rock outfit, boasting both skillfully done covers as well as plenty of original work, ranging from indie-rock to pop rock. This friendly balance of popular elements has allowed them to foster a serious fan base in the Corvallis area.

In the summer of 2009, starting off as just a 2 piece acoustic act, singer Mandi DeWolfe and guitarist Mike Ewing would eventually move to include bass guitarist Travis Bazanele and drummer Mark Dilson. Within a year, the band had been lauded by The Daily Barometer as Best Local Band 2012 and even opened for Macklemore at OSU’s Flat Tail Music Festival. To quote Cory Frye in the March 15 issue of the now defunct Entertainer, “Their palpable chemistry is somewhat reminiscent of Goodness’ pulpy pummel of voice (Carrie Akre) and volume. As your doctor, I recommend that you quaff it like a rare blue sky.”

After an explosive run of fan-building and musical craftsmanship, Summer Soundtrack went on hiatus at the end of this past winter. Mark became heavily involved in a TV show in Portland called the PDXpick which consumed too much of his time to allow him to fulfill his duty as drummer. Being such a tightly knit group, this caused Summer Soundtrack to break indefinitely. In the interim, Travis involved himself in another local band, ’89 Dynasty, while both Mike and Mandi had been seen getting their performing fix rocking karaoke at the Peacock.

Fortunately for their fans, now, five months later, activity is brewing. According to Mike, “There are plans but I’m not ready to tell you.” That is, other than a Cloud and Kelly’s show in October (date as of yet undeclared), Battle of the Bands at the Hawthorne Theatre in Portland this past Sunday where they advanced to the finals, and an attempt to get on Warped Tour through an organizer contact. If the plans don’t go beyond what one might describe as “playing a ton of shows,” local fans will still be happy.

This past August 17, I had the pleasure of revisiting the band’s riveting rhythms and partying with their devoted fanbase at Cloud and Kelly’s. Opening for Summer Soundtrack was the Josh Farmer Band of Missoula, a soulful jazzy blend of funk and rock. While they certainly brought a different style and sound to the table—much more laid back and very groovy – the Josh Farmer Band more than introduced Summer Soundtrack. They brought a sound performance to Cloud and Kelly’s that warmed fans and newcomers alike up to rock out to the familiar.

And, of course, Summer Soundtrack did not disappoint. Few local acts rock the stage with same dynamic vocals and charismatic ease that DeWolfe consistently gifts to excited fans, nor the seasoned guitar work of Mike, the thumping bass of Travis, or Mark’s penchant for percussion.

Interested in taking a listen, looking up future dates or contacting the band? Check out Summer Soundtrack’s website at

By Joel Southall