The other day I was thinking about lost and forgotten music, well, maybe just not listened to in a while and I thought about Goose Creek Symphony. I first heard Goose Creek in the early 70’s and I think, I was introduced to them by my wife! Anyway, in my vinyl collection I have their first three albums., Est. in 1970, Words of Earnest and Do Your Thing but Don’t Touch Mine. They are a good time country rock band that travels just a little beyond the norm. From their website:
Goose Creek Symphony is considered by many to be one of the most original bands of their time. Major record labels (Capitol & Columbia) of the 60s/early 70s didn’t know what to do with a band that played a mixture of rock and roll, folk, jazz and country with an undeniable hillbilly influence, a hippie attitude and a reckless sense of instrumental daring. They used horns and fiddles as well as effects and blended it with psychedelic rock and roll. The true definition of “Cosmic American Music”.
The Words of Earnest album was always my favorite with “Words Of Ernest”, “Rush On Love”, their cover of “Mercedes Benz”, “Guitars Pickin’, Fiddles Playin’, Orange Blossom Special” and “Whupin’ It” being my favorite tracks. But back to my main thought, that I was writing something about the forgotten Goose Creek so what did I find when I went to their website, that they have not faded into obscurity, rather, I just lost track of them! They did take a hiatus of 17 years and then started recording again in the early 90’s. Since then they have put out many albums, including two older albums Head for the Hills and The Same Thing Again that were recorded in the 70’s and never promoted or released. So I headed over to Rhapsody and filled up the mp3 player with a few of the albums, OSO Special, Goin’ Home, and The Goose is Loose. Listening to the good time guitars pickin’ and fiddles playing took me back and brought a smile to my face! There are several good tracks on OSO Special and Goin’ Home, including “Still Dumb”, “Night for Prowlin'” and an old song “Hot Dog Daddy” from OSO Speical and “Goin; Home”, “Livin’ in Panic” and “Gob Sows” from Goin’ Home. The Goose is Loose is a great live recording with extended jams of many of the old songs like “Saturday Night at the Grange”, “Whupin’ it”, “Welcome to Goose Creek” and “Guitars Pickin’ Fiddles Playin'”. All in all the albums were great to hear and will stay in my rotation!
Here are he band members on the some of the albums:
Charles Gearheart “Ritchie Hart” — lead vocal,acoustic guitar
Paul Spradlin “Paul Howard” — electric guitar, dobro, vocals
Bob Henke “Willard” — electric guitar, piano, organ, vocals
Dave Birkett — bass
Mike McFadden — guitar
Words of Earnest
Charles Gearheart “Charlie” – lead vocal, acoustic guitar
Paul Spradlin “Pearl” – electric guitar, vocals
Bob Henke “Willard” – vocals, guitar, bass
Pat Moore “Froggy” – bass
Fred Weisz “Flying Fred” – fiddle
Jim Tolles “Cactus Jim” – fiddle
Chris Lockheart “Flash” – drums
Harold Williams – horns
Randall Bramblett – horns
Charles Gearheart “Charlie”- Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals, Percussion, Piano, Jew’s harp
Paul Spradlin “Pearl”- Lead and Harmony Vocals, Electric Guitar, Jew’s harp
Eric Day- Electric Guitar, Dobro, Lap Steel, Baritone Guitar, Harmony Vocals
Matt McClure- Drums
Doug Habbena- Bass, Harmony Vocals
Gary Mackey- Fiddle, Mandolin
Tim Lorsch- Fiddle, Low Boy Fiddle
Roy Agee- Trombone, Banjo
As you can sse the two constants in the band are Charlie Gearheart and Paul Spradlin and other players have round out the band and they’ve always had a good fiddle player whether it was Fred Weisz “Flying Fred , Jim Tolles “Cactus Jim” or Gary Mackey!
You can check out more at their website and on their My Space page including info about the release of some vintage 1970’s acoustic recordings made by Charlie! So if you don’t know them check’em out and if you did but haven’t listened in a FEW years it’s time to get reaquainted!