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

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bob Lind - Elusive Butterfly - The Complete 1966 Jack Nitzsche Sessions – In the early sixties at the height of the folk boom, Denver based singer/songwriter Bob Lind was regularly working the coffee houses in the area, and later (as the local folk scene dried up) moved to...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues