Exposé Online banner

Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin — Green and Blue
(BRCDLP-05, 2009, CD)

Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin — Hour Moon
(Broken BRCDEP-01, 2009, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2010-07-01

Green and Blue Cover artHour Moon Cover art

The first new set of music in over 15 years from sophisticated pop duo keyboardist Dave Stewart and vocalist Barbara Gaskin is a strong reason for celebration. The two have not lost step with their niche of carving out well crafted songs with that deceptive chord combination and more than a few familiar nods to a checkered prog past. "Walnut Tree Walk" is one of those pieces that ambles along nicely, giving a humming refrain that you can't get out of your head. Stewart's vast arrangement vocabulary is particularly poignant on the late night jazzy ballads "Let Me Sleep Tonight" and "Bed of Leaves." Stewart's fitting piano and light synthesizer backing indicates attention to atmospheric detail and simple melodic structure. Covering Lennon and McCartney, especially a Sgt. Pepper track like Lennon's "Good Morning Good Morning," is a risky venture, but in the capable hands of this keyboardist it is turned to a tour de force complete with animal sounds. Also on board for the entire session are Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison and long time guitarist Andy Reynolds. Harrison's high energy propulsion drives the trademark train down the hard rocking track on "Any Guru." Recording dates are suspiciously absent for the collection of pieces but that doesn't taint the performance or high caliber recording quality. "Red Circus" is easily the most boisterous track on the disc with Reynolds' lead guitar riffing away opposite Stewart's prodding monster organ lines. Closing the disc is the two part "Sweetwater Sea," which contains a stellar prose reading from Peter Blegvad.

The EP called Hour Moon features a few old tidbits as well, including the pretty hard rocking "Shakin' All Over" (the Johnny Kidd & the Pirates song famously covered by The Who). Stewart is always one to eschew camp in light of his wide musical palette on "Telstar" and the sweet radical funky intro rework of the classic "Harry and James." One can only hope more product will be forthcoming from the duo before they truly call it a day.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Gavin Harrison, Dave Stewart, Peter Blegvad

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Richard Pinhas - Rhizosphere / Live, Paris 1982 – At last, a reissue of Pinhas' first and certainly most purely electronic album recorded under his own name. It also marks a time when this was the distinction between Pinhas' solo material and...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues