GCS at the Mountain Arts Center

2005-05-11 life & times
Goose Creek Symphony will make appearance at MAC

PRESTONSBURG —  ‘The question we’re asked most,” says Charlie Gearheart, “is how do you define your music? I’ve always said I don’t know!” laughs the compact man with the big baritone voice. “It’s a good feeling that no one can put you into a slot, cause when they put you in a slot, then there’s a time limit.”

It was 1969 and The Band was getting bigger. The Grateful Dead were well on their way to creating a new nationwide hippie-rock culture. And in a little recording studio in Phoenix, Ariz., two guys, Charlie Gearheart and Paul Spradlin, were creating a down-home brand of eclectic music that would capture the earth-bound spirits and undying loyalty of several generations of roots- and rock-music lovers.

Charlie Gearheart, the primary songwriter and “father” of Goose Creek Symphony, grew up in Goose Creek Hollow in Eastern Kentucky. That’s why a stretch of highway on Rt. 80 between Martin and Hazard is called “Charlie Gearheart Highway.” The family moved to Arizona when Gearheart was 14 to stave off his mother’s difficulty with asthma.

Goose Creek Symphony grew up on the Stanley Brothers and was fed by rock and roll. Since their beginnings in 1968, through the Capitol label release of “Mercedes Benz” (Janis Joplin) and “Uncle Pen” (Bill Monroe) through the present, Goose Creek Symphony enriches us all.

They never get too serious, though. For just when you think the message is getting heavy – and it is; it’s honest, if nothing else – Gearheart will throw in a lighthearted line to remind you not to take yourself, or him, too seriously. And just when you’re swaying gently, transported by their inspiring strains of Appalachian melody, they’ll take off into a mind-boggling musical jam with wailing fiddle on top of searing rock guitar on top of fund bass that’ll take the top of your head off – and connect you at once with your very own musical spirit.

Their music has been called experimental, impressionistic. Fresh. Fun. Outrageous. But, it’s always been called great. Goose Creek Symphony, established in 1970, is still going strong thirty years hence. They are still indefinable … and undeniable … GOOSE CREEK!

Tickets go on sale Monday, May 16, for the final performance of Goose Creek Symphony who will be in concert at the Mountain Arts Center on June 24 at 8 p.m. as part of their farewell tour.

Tickets for the show are $18 upper and $20 lower. Call 1-888-MAC ARTS for more information.