Goose Creek Symphony – Live In Canada ’72 & ’74



There’s a moment during the version of “Talk About Goose Creek” on Live In Canada ’72 & ’74 when Goose Creek Symphony’s lead vocalist/acoustic guitarist Charlie Gearheart sings: “Drumsticks flyin’, the guitars ringin’/ Boys, we sure like pickin’ and singin’/ We don’t need a whole lotta help/ We can freak out by ourselves” – and then he calls out “Freak out, boys!” And they do, rolling and a’tumbling for a couple of moments like a bunch of overall-clad Mothers Of Invention. The ironic part is, the whole damn fat hour’s-worth of vintage Goose Creek Symphony to be found on Live In Canada ’72 & ’74 is one big freak-out. And if you don’t know about Goose Creek Symphony, this is a fine time to feed your head.

Sometimes it’s the subtle stuff: the cool hand percussion (provided by do-anything-that-needs-doing drummer Dennis Kenmore) underneath the feet-dangling-off-the-tailgate bounce of “The Corn Won’t Grow So Rock ‘N’ Roll” – or the way bassist Pat Moore will insert anything from a little disco gallooop up the neck to a be-bop-flavored flurry into the weirdest of places – or the neat fiddle>overdriven guitar>fiddle>saxophone>that nasty guitar again tag-teaming on “Mercedes Benz”.

gcs-main-6And sometimes it’s just plain mind-bending: “Talk About Goose Creek” effortlessly swaps hemispheres and genres in the blink of an eye (remember, boys and girls: this was a couple decades prior to String Cheese’s hot Appalachian/Celtic/Middle Eastern/Afro/Latin gumbos) with rhythm and instrumental change-ups that manage to shapeshift the vibe and groove without ever feeling abrupt. When did the almost-but-not-quite feedbacking guitars vaporize into an acoustic guitar/fiddle jazz glide – and when the hell did that sensuous flute appear? How did we get from sitting on a hay bale to the back of this hookah-smoking pachyderm? Wait – now it’s a goddamned wah-pedaled geetar rubbing fenders with the fiddle – no, horns – no, fiddle … oh, forget it.

Pluck the magic twanger right HERE to read the rest of my Goose Creek Symphony review on

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