Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

June 14, 2021

GOSPEL OAK (1970 LP, Kapp Records)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:56 am
  1. Brown Haired Girl (John Rapp) – 3:34
  2. Common Expressions (John Rapp) – 3:17
  3. Recollections Of Jessica (Tim Hovey, Bob Le Gate) – 3:05
  4. Big Fat White Man (Tim Hovey, Bob Le Gate) – 2:35
  5. South Bleach (Instrumental) (Bob Le Gate, Kerry Gaines, Matthew Kelly) – 2:36
  6. Why We Came (Kerry Gaines, John Rapp) – 2:57
  7. Go Talk To Rachel (John Rapp) – 4:07
  8. O.K. Sam (Tim Hovey, Bob Le Gate) – 3:25
  9. St. Anne’s Pretension (Kerry Gaines, John Rapp) – 4:39

Gospel Oak
*Kerry Gaines – Drums, Percussion
*Matthew Kelly – Harmonica, Guitar
*Bob Le Gate – Lead Guitar, Vocals
*John Rapp – Vocals, Bass, Rhythm Guitar
*Cliff Hall – Keyboards
*Gordon Huntley – Pedal Steel Guitar

Having an album on Kapp Records circa 1970 was not the best career move in terms of either industry clout or hipness, though there were some fine albums released on that Decca/MCA subsidiary. I vaguely remember hearing something from this album late at night on Denver’s KFML or maybe a Boulder station back in the day. The band consisted of Matthew Kelly, a respected West Coast blues harmonica player and member of the band Horses who recorded an album in 1969, with 3 British musicians, after Kelly relocated to the UK. It’s the perfect mix of roots/country-rock and blues. When I found my copy buried in the garage a few months ago and played it for the first time in maybe 20 years, my strange reaction was “this album could have been produced by Chris Hillman”….interpret that as you wish.

Somehow the mix of these rootsy Brits with an American who was knee-deep in the blues really worked. This has been reissued a few times in the last 20 years and is highly recommended….see what you think. Pour yourself some rye with a splash of rainwater and put it on after midnight. Thanks to GOSPEL OAK for a timeless piece of work that really transcends genre. As I get older and life flows on, albums like GOSPEL OAK offer up even more riches with each passing year.


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