The Gator Creek lineup was made up of a series of L.A.-based studio musicians – sax play Allen Beutler, keyboardist Dee Barton, guitarist Mike Deasy, singer Kathy Deasy, singer/guitarist Kenny Loggins, bassist Ray Neapolitan, keyboardist Mike O’Martin (aka Michael Omartian), and drummer Gene Pello. Collectively they had played in numerous bands (see above for a partial listing) and as hired guns, played on literally hundreds of session and albums.
Those credentials make it easy to see why Mercury would have been interested in financing an album. Co-produced by Barton and Bob Todd, 1970’s cleverly titled “Gator Creek” served as a showcase for the various members’ talents which gave the LP a versatile, if somewhat disjointed feel. Interestingly given he was responsible for penning almost half of the material, keyboardist Barton was probably the least impressive member of the group. As a lead singer he didn’t have much of a voice and tracks like the swamp rocker ‘Betty Jean’s Mama’ and the country-flavored ‘Home’ weren’t particularly memorable. As a husband and wife team the Deasys acquitted themselves better; Mike’s stellar guitar on display throughout (nice feedback drenched opening to ‘Dirty Boogie’), while their cover of Jackson’s ‘These Days’ displayed some surprisingly impressive harmony vocals (and would have made a nice single). Kathy’s performance on ‘Mud Island’ may have been the most radio-ready song on the set. Represented by two of his own compositions, Loggins was probably the most mainstream and commercial presence. He certainly had the best voice and ‘Danny’s Song’ became a staple in his Loggins and Messina and solo careers. As mentioned, the ten tracks bounced all over the musical spectrum, with quite a bit of boogie woogie found throughout the grooves (‘Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On the King of Rock and Roll’, ‘Dirty Boogie’ and ‘Holy Moly Rolly Polly’). Hardly the year’s most impressive release, but not without some charm. (source)
1 Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock & Roll (Jeff Thomas) 2:36
2 Danny’s Song (Kenny Loggins) 3:25
3 These Days (Bunny Browne) 2:31
4 Dirty Boogie (Dee Barton) 3:21
5 Betty Jean’s Mama (Dee Barton) 4:19
6 Holy Moly Rolly Polly (Buzz Clifford) 2:57
7 Long-Tail Cat (Kenny Loggins) 3:52
8 Mud Island (Donna Weiss, Mary Unobsky) 2:50
9 Take A Look (Dee Barton) 3:43
10 Home (Dee Barton) 6:03
|Background Vocals||Clydie King|
|Background Vocals||Merry Clayton|
|Background Vocals||Venetta Fields|
Producer – Bob Todd, Dee Barton
Arranged By – Dee Barton
Record Company – Mercury Record Corporation
Manufactured By – Mercury Record Productions, Inc.
Distributed By – Mercury Record Productions, Inc.
Published By – Columbia Music, Inc.