Sixty Nine — Circle of the Crayfish
(Germanofon 941018, 1972/1995, CD)
Sixty Nine — Live!
(Germanofon 941004, 1974/1995, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1996-03-01
Sixty Nine were an unusual "group" being only a duo of keyboards and drums. For these limitations, Sixty Nine made a pretty big sound, a combination of influences that on the more mundane side sounds like Atomic Rooster and on the more progressive side the veritable Emerson Lake and Palmer. Circle of the Crayfish was their first album and only studio release. The music is dominated by the Hammond organ sound and there's one of those long suites. Without guitar, there's a thinness here that is to be expected, and during the length of the album, the overwhelming abundance of keyboards becomes a little wearing.
The live album, originally a double LP, is more of the same although shows that they could put out a pretty full sound for a duo live. The urgent drumming is varied stylistically and helps to keep the music interesting. Live! is split nearly down the middle between more blues rock, which is odd for a keyboard-led group and strengthens the Atomic Rooster comparisons, and a pretty ripping ELP like progressive rock. While neither album even comes close to classic status there is a lot of good music between the two here that fans of the above comparisons would be worth checking out. Check out Live! first, it's the better deal.
Related artist(s): Sixty Nine
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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.