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Dodson & Fogg

Dodson & Fogg /  wisdom twins records ltd

Here we have Chris Wade – too young to have enjoyed the original UK folk-rock days – working now with the likes of Hawkwind puffer Nik Turner and others to create his own project and album nodding to adventurous folk and also for this reviewer answering the question ‘What is the beautiful and noble Trees singer Celia Humphris up to these days ?’ ( answer – singing like a dream, as she always did ). Y’see I used to see Trees when they played at the London Marquee club, way back. Never as famous as Fairport Convention, rightfully the darlings of that wave, the likes of Trees and Eclection could be just as musical and beguiling, as a listen now will confirm…ah, but Trees used Rickenbacker electrics as well as acoustic guitars and Fairport were not likely to come up with something as saturnine and tempo-twisting as the eerie ‘Fool’, though fair nod to their ‘Matty Groves.

The Dave Crosby chording of ‘All Day Long’ sets a stately pace for the opening cut. A gentle guitar weave becomes more insistent and the additional vocals have a stern counterpoint. I haven’t heard anything like this Mother Earth’s Matt Deighton spun a couple of mysterious rural folkrock albums out a decade and a bit ago. I still play those as they have timeless ambience a thousand miles from anything fashionable. ‘Just You & Me’ has a skipping strum and knowing vocal with an electric threading through and flute decoration, reflective psych folk in essence and execution.

When ‘Footprints’ with its birdsong and perambulatory beat start you almost expect the sound of a steam train chugging towards a viaduct. Just who is The Man In The Mirror referred to ? Folk music has always been littered with strange citizens and characters and Wade is not going to leave such things out of the equation in making these songs come to life. Again the guitars weave and twinkle as the track fades.  ‘Nothing At All’ has a medieval atmosphere and a hint of flanging on the vocal. A mournful cello sulks under the playful flute.

‘Where on Earth?’ could be a George Harrison song from ‘All Things..’ and may be the most memorable song on this collection. Needs a harpsichord part though, imho.

Is that an accordian on ‘The Slime’ ? a touch of bitterness here in the lyric delivery ; ‘Weather Changes’ has a great bassline over the intro and an electronic watery-tone on the backing vocal which sounds utterly ghostly as it is surely meant to do…a fuzz guitar line adds some 3-d and I am reminded of Horslips, rightly or wrongly.

The gentle chug of ‘She Is Everything’ creeps into the consciousness with deft ease and Chris’ warm voice is best recorded here. It’s not what you might call ‘traditionally folky’ in
tone or delivery which is helpful ; some folk-based records are off-putting when the vocals are too piercing, mannered or in-your-face to attain a following beyond folk purists. ‘Crinkle Drive’ again has electric and flute in the mix, but the production keeps things a bit grounded when an overthetop approach might have set the pulses racing. Some of these cuts would probably sounded very good ‘live’ – maybe we’ll get to see live show at some point ?

Pete Sargeant

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