Milton Kelley — “Small Town Boy”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — May 2, 2023


812) Milton Kelley — “Small Town Boy”

Timeless and touching ’70 folk-rock straight outta the legendary Two:Dot studios in Ojai [California]. The song sounds like it could have been written yesterday. Worth Point calls Kelley’s album Home Brew “a blend of folk/psych & country from the hippie folks in Ojai California” ( and says that there are only a “[s]upposed 400 copies known”. (

As to the label and the Brew, Slipcue tells us that:

The Two:Dot label from Ojai, California was named for their initials of its founders (Tom W. Oglesby and Dean O. Thompson) and is one of those legendarily obscure microlabels that uber-collectors salivate over… This LP . . . [is] a hippiedelic blues-roots kinda thing, recorded on the spur of the moment with singer-songwriter Milton Kelley and a few other Ojai locals.

Mark Lewis tells us much more:

These days, a copy of “Home Brew” that’s still in decent shape will go for hundreds of dollars on eBay — and a sealed, never-played copy might fetch $3,500. . . . The long-vanished [Two:Dot] studio is barely remembered in Ojai [California], but it’s now world famous among collectors of obscure rock albums from the ’60s and early ’70s. Cultish websites make gushing references to the “legendary” Two:Dot, that mythical place where “mega-rare” albums . . . were created. Enthusiasts in Europe and Japan will offer big bucks for vinyl rarities recorded in that converted garage — albums hardly anyone bought when they first came out. . . .

Libbey Bowl was . . . [a] popular venue for local musicians. It was there, early in the summer of 1970, that Dean Thompson met Milton Kelley. . . . Kelley was a singer-songwriter who had grown up in Ojai and was now back in town after serving a tour in Vietnam. He was part of the musical line-up . . . that day, and Dean liked what he heard. “Dean was there recording some live stuff,” Kelley says. “He came up and said, ‘Hey, man, I’ve got a recording studio up on the hill. You should come up and do an album.’ ” The result of that conversation was “Milton Kelley’s Home Brew,” released on the Two:Dot label. . . . Dean was the engineer and the genial host. . . . “We printed 400 LPs and sold every one,” Kelley says. . . .

[A]n astonished Milton Kelley was informed that a pristine copy of “Home Brew” was now worth its weight in gold, and then some. (Alas, Kelley was not in a position to cash in. He has only one copy left, and it’s been played a lot.) (originally published in the Summer 2012 edition of the Ojai Quarterly)

Oh, and the little studio in an Adobe mud brick house had a 16 track recorder before the Beatles did! (Mark Lewis,, originally published in the Summer 2012 edition of the Ojai Quarterly)

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