ALBUM ÚNICO E RARO DESSA OBSCURA BANDA AMERICANA MAS QUE VIVIA NO REINO UNIDO E QUE TINHA "MATTHEW KELLY", EX-GUITARRISTA DA BANDA HORSE, BANDA QUAL TINHA COMO VOCALISTA O ATOR DON JOHNSON, AQUELE MESMO DA SÉRIE MIAMI VICE!! KELLY ALÉM DE GUITARRISTA É UM ÓTIMO GAITISTA E JÁ HAVIA CHAMADO ATENÇÃO NA CENA ROCK DE SAN FRANCISCO TOCANDO BLUES!! "MATTHEW KELLY" LOGO FOI PRA INGLATERRA!! AO MESMO ALGUNS OUTROS MUSICOS AMIGOS DE INDIANA FORAM ENCONTRA ELE EM TERRAS INGLESAS!! ELES DE ALGUMA FORMA CONSEGUIRAM ATRAIR A ATENÇÃO DO PUBLICITÁRIO DOS BEATLES, TONY BARROW, QUE OS GERENCIOU E USOU SUAS CONEXÕES QUE LEVARAM A BANDA A ASSINAR UM CONTRATO COM A KAPP RECORDS!! AÍ VEIO ESSE ALBUM COM UMA SONORIDADE FOLK TINGIDA DE BLUES, COM BONS ARRANJOS DE GUITARRAS, ORGAN, BAIXO, HARMONICA E PEDAL STEEL!! O ALBUM É AGRADÁVEL E OS CARAS PODERIAM TER MELHOR SORTE!!
Matthew Kelly was a Californian who'd previously attracted attention playing blues harmonica and touring with the likes of Mel Brown, John Lee Hooker, and T-Bone Walker. The man clearly had some chops to be supporting names like that. Kelly soon found himself caught-up in San Francisco's burgeoning rock scene. He added electric guitar to his repertoire and started playing with Chris Herold and Dave Torbert. In 1969 the three of them were hired to play in the band Horses which was fronted by sometimes actor and lead singer Don Johnson (yeap, the Miami Vice guy). Horses recorded one self-titled album before collapsing.
Musically "Gospel Oak" was all over the genre map. With Rapp and Le Gate responsible for most of the material, tracks like 'Recollections of Jessica' and 'Big Fat White Man' were decent country-rock complete with nice melodies and catchy group harmonies. Showcasing Kelly's harmonica and Le Gate's lead guitar 'Brown Haired Girl', 'Common Expressions' and the instrumental 'South Bleach' offered up a harder edged blues sound, while 'Go Talk To Rachel' and 'O.K. Sam' found the group taking a stab at a more conventional and accessable rock attack. Propelled by some nifty Le Gate guitar, best of the lot was the album-closer 'St. Anne's Pretension'. The album was never less than enjoyable, but by the same token it lacked anything to distinguish it from the competition. The album's certainly likeable which makes it too bad if didn't sport one or two slightly stronger compositions. With those ingredients these guys could have been major players. Kapp also tapped the album for a single in the form of 'O.K. Sam' b/w 'Go Talk To Rachel' (Kapp catalog number 2115).
Matthew Kelly (guitar, harmonica, vocals)
Bob Le Gate (guitar, vocals)
John Rapp (guitar, bass, vocals)
Kerry Gaines (drums)
Gordon Huntley (pedal steel guitar)
01. Brown Haired Girl
02. Common Expression
03. Recollections Of Jessica
04. South Bleach
05. Big Fat White Man
06. Why We Came
07. Go Talk To Rachel
08. O.K. Sam
09. St. Anne's Pretension