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Zoot Horn Rollo — We Saw a Bozo under the Sea
(ZHR 2001, 2001, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2003-02-01

We Saw a Bozo under the Sea Cover art

As one of two guitar men behind Captain Beefheart in the Magic Band and offshoot group Mallard, Bill Harkleroad has seen many a change in his thirty-plus years. As chronicled in his book Lunar Notes with Billy James, the acclaimed guitarist participated in the most fertile period of the Captain's career that resulted in that masterpiece of poetry and poly-rhythms: Trout Mask Replica from 1969. Since that time, Harkleroad's voice has been quiet, finally relocating to Eugene, Oregon to take up guitar teaching. His first solo album is an adventure series packed with the likes of blues, jazz, fusion, and many connecting points in between. With Greg Bendian (from Interzone with the Cline Bros.) and other guest players, the mode is one of guitar virtuoso of the same ilk as Waddy Wachtel unleashed on a Guitar Speak album of his own. "Elvis Beans" and "Dancin' with the Doorknob" show the leader's penchant for slide guitar and group interplay as well emphasis on sax unisons and spirited tempo changes. "Temporary Tattoo" shows the band strictly entrenched in Mahavishnu mode with violinist Brian Price matching guitar unisons atop a busy rhythm section. A studied Zappa-esque approach is taken with pieces such as "John's Eyes" which rely on cool vibes and an obtuse melody. Overall the album is a great welcome back for a competent player and composer. Highly recommended.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 26, 2001 releases

Related artist(s): Gregg Bendian, Zoot Horn Rollo (Bill Harkleroad)

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Premier of New Echo Us Video

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.



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