| Gospel Oak - Gospel Oak |
Gospel Oak grew out of the songwriting of Matthew Kelly, a former harp player for John Lee Hooker and T-Bone Walker, he found his way to the West Coast and did time in Horses, a band that featured future Miami Vice actor Don Johnson on vocals. Feeling his
| talent squandered by the experience he left for England and hooked up with a group of Indiana ex-pats to form Gospel Oak. The band wound through blues, folk and 60's psych touches with a solid backbone in Kelly's songs. They even caught the attention of Beatles publicist Tony Barrow who wound up managing them and arranging their record deal with Kapp records. Seemingly all good blocks in place and perhaps if they had just a bit more luck they could have endured, especially given the UK's love for white boy blues at the time. However, the album didn't chart strongly and Kelly's visa eventually expired and he found himself headed back to the US before Gospel Oak really got their legs. He'd eventually go on to found Kingfish later in his career. Still, the album remains a solid bit of the blues crossover with nice flecks of pop and country and its found its way back into print recently. A worthwhile addition to any collection leaning towards studio blues from this period.
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