Caravan — If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You
(Decca SKL-R 5052, 1970, LP)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 2015-08-13
McLatchey's Second Tier
This brilliant title could easily show up these days in an ad to the right of your screen with some dopey teenager with a vacant expression wearing it on their T-shirt (such as "I'm not a gynecologist, but I'll take a look") . Caravan were really at the forefront of English progressive rock movement with their debut album, starting as a pop group and moving that music into new areas even in the 60s. But to me their second album is their finest. I remember the first time I heard the "For Richard" suite it reminded me of Traffic around Low Spark, such a warm sound with such unique organ tones and an obvious nod to the jazz of the time. These days psych is probably making its nth comeback but it always comes with such a postmodern sort of approach, as if the musicians have to wink at the audience knowingly. But back in 1970, there was this mix of innocence, playfulness and warmth with the obvious consciousness expansion, the musicians were inside and not on the outside looking in. If for Richard was a jazzy jam, it was mixed in with time signature experiments like the title track and lovely, wistful pop songs. Even a song like "And I Wish I Were Stoned" seems to pose no threat in its earnestness. This big mix of 60s era innocence and brilliant musicianship tends to be labeled Canterbury these days, but an album like this still hits the psych-pop spot more than anything else. They'd still go on to make great albums after this, but by then the naivete was starting to slip away...
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From the press release:
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical ‘Echo Us’ play on words which one can find their own meaning.
“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception- which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way.
“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)
As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew’, also reworked for guitar on the new album.