Exposé Online banner

Red Jasper — A Midsummer Night's Dream
(SI Music Simply 35, 1993, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1994-08-01

A Midsummer Night's Dream Cover artFrom the acoustic guitars and tin-whistle that open the first track, I knew this wouldn't be your standard SI neo-prog fare. Vocalist Davey Dodds picks up about a minute in, with a deep and thick voice that instantly reminds of Peter Hammill. It's not until the second track, a more uptempo rock tune, that any neo-prog comparisons start to come into play — yet still, the heart and soul of this British five-piece is firmly rooted in folk-rock, with some influence no doubt from Strawbs, Horslips, and Tull. Besides Dodds (who also supplies some excellent mandolin licks), the band features drummer Dave Clifford, Robin Harrison on all forms of guitar, Jon Thornton on bass, and Lloyd George on piano and keyboards. The album consists of eight tracks ranging from three to thirteen minutes, and after the second — "Virtual Reality,” any neo-prog comparisons begin to fade rapidly, giving way to a rich folk-rock not far from Bursting at the Seams, Dodds even sounds a bit like Cousins on the lengthy "Dreamscape Part 1 & 2,” yet these guys are not a knock-off of the old boys, they add plenty of their own unique magic throughout. Another valid comparison might be Asgard, especially in some of the synth-heavy moody (almost Gothic) passages when Dodds' voice leads the band. Mandolin is everywhere, but no more so than in "Jean's Tune" and "An Invitation To Dance"; both of these tracks evoke the memory of Horslips — the multi-part "Invitation" even contains an excellent new arrangement of the traditional "King of the Faeries.” Overall, this one is a winner; I think anyone out there without an aversion to traditional folk and rock fusions will certainly enjoy this one.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 4, 1993 releases

Related artist(s): Red Jasper

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Covenant - Nature's Divine Reflection – It seems that the one-man band is making a comeback in the American mid-west. Whether this is a positive happening or not, I will leave to the individual listener. Covenant consists solely of one Dave...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues