Homestead Act: Gospel Snake

Writing about these largely unknown, home-made records can be tough. Take this private press hipster bluegrass lp here… which is particularly a head scratcher. If the cover (which as always is scant on vital info) is to be believed, these kids were from TN, and this record was released in “AD 1972”.

What is very cool about this stuff is that it is far more pure sounding than most hippy country experiments of the time, yet they are doing covers of the Beatles and Flying Burrito Bros. I realize that this sounds quite incongruous – and it really is for that matter – but it works quite well. For example, it is truely bizarre and wonderful to hear the Burrito’s Hollywood take on country played through a far more rural filter as is done here with “Christine’s Tune”.


  • SirH of Crinkle,

    Any chance I can get you to copy this whole album? Greatly appreciated, you don’t even have to chop tracks. Just send as “sides”.


  • haha! yeah, gimme some time. It’s a pretty cool record!

  • yeah if you ever convert the whole thing to mp3 drop me a line…

  • Hi! I would LOVE to speak with you about this album. How can I talk to you? Could you please email me your phone #?

    Or, if you can give me your direct email address, I will email you mine.

    I am Elmo’s wife. He will be 70 this year. I would love to find a copy of this album and surprise him with it.



  • i picked up a 45 of the homestead act on kim-pat (kp-1731) a few months back…

    1 track is superb…

    Joy (Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring–Bach)

    listen here: Act – Joy – KIM-PAT 45.mp3

  • Just picked this record up from Amoeba Hollywood tonight because Steve Young is all over the album: four compositions and all lead guitars.

  • RE: Steve Young via google: “His guitar picking is all over a hard-to-find Patsy and Elmo LP, “Gospel Snake”, recorded in 1972, when they were billing themselves as “The Homestead Act”. The LP features 4 songs written by Young, as well as one written by his then-wife, Cheryl.”

  • finally scored a copy of this ‘in the field’… great record!! just spooky/local enough to make it worth your time. would love others like this if people have any similar titles.

  • I love this record! I played lady madonna last week on my radio show.

  • As many have noted, the Homestead Act included Elmo and Patsy of ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer’ fame. In the early 70’s they were a popular band in the San Francisco Bay Area bluegrass scene. I saw them many times at a venue called The Orphanage which hosted a 4-hour bluegrass show that mixes live music and records that was broadcast over KSAY. There was a second couple that made up the other half of the band, and they were as important as Elmo and Patsy to the band’s sound. Regrettably I cannot recall their names. The other male band member was a crack multi-instrumentalist (mostly playing guitar and fiddle).

    My favorite cut was always ‘The White Trash Song’ – little did I know that some 30 years later I would be teaching at a small liberal arts college in east Tennessee near the Georgia border where US Hwy 41 runs and you do indeed see barns painted ‘See Rock City’ (a tourist spot on the Georgia side of the border). I have long tried to locate the album in any format but have given up on it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *