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

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Arti e Mestieri - Tilt & Giro di Valzer per Domani – Much ink has been spilled about the drumming of Furio Chirico and for good reason: the guy is phenomenal. He is all over the place using all available musical space yet is never bombastic or...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues