Just call him Izzie. After a youth spent playing in bands, and the early 2000s playing and recording with his current Caravan comrades under a different name, the driving force behind his eponymous blues rock Caravan is experiencing a musical renaissance many former rockers can only dream about.
In their previous incarnation, Izzie and company gave it all they had, attempting to carry the torch of rock and roll forward into the new century. Unfortunately, they found themselves out of sync with the direction music was taking at the time. “I guess the music landscape had really changed back then as well,” Izzie recalls. “We had the spirit of old school rock and roll, but that was on the outs…” Ultimately, after putting so much energy into the struggle, Izzie found himself extremely disillusioned about music. So much so that he didn’t play at all for a decade.
Luckily, Izzie got plugged back into the music after a number of key encounters, and came to the point of fully restarting the music career that had been on a very long hiatus. He says “It was like that little kid inside woke up, and I was like, ‘I think it’s time to do this, man…It’s been the love of my life.’” The band leader was also fortunate that his previous bandmates were keen to jump back on board and set out on a new path with the Caravan.
Starting as “that little kid,” Izzie gathered blues and rock influences from many places over the years, from the classic blues of Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James and Muddy Waters, to the rocking blues of Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn and early Aerosmith, to the stripped down rock of John Fogerty, Tom Petty and others. Izzie recalls Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing,” playing from his audiophile dad’s stereo, as the song that first attracted him to the electric guitar. “I was like, wow…What is this guy doing?”
While their sound is firmly rooted in the soil of classic rock, Izzie’s Caravan is certainly not content to simply rehash the past. As the Crash Bang Wallop podcast so aptly puts it, their creativity encompasses “a skillful curation of musical highlights from the past, enhanced by modern artistic ingenuity.”
Back together since 2019, the group released a number of successful EPs, and has landed a bunch of singles on international streaming and download charts. Their latest release due out as a full album in June 2021 is called Blow the Lid, and is the result of remote but prolific song creation during the pandemic.
The one key element missing for the band right now is the ability to present their songs live, with all the energy they deserve. “By the time we do get to do some shows, we’re gonna have so much music in our catalog…We’ve got a truck load of songs to showcase on the road, but I guess we just have to be a little patient and have a little bit of a thick skin right now.”
By Dan Walsh