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

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Pinnacle - Meld – Heck, any band that gives thanks to "the spectacular Eliza Dushku for inspiration" deserves the benefit of the doubt, don't they? This American three-piece treads some familiar ground — the...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues