Review Archive

‘Derring Do’ by Chris Wade’s folk project Dodson and Fogg

(March 19, 2013)

Here's another 'folk' album to prompt contention. Not sure if acid-folk is the right description; try space-folk, psych-folk or perhaps progressive-folk. Actually, forget all that, don’t try to classify it will Derring Doonly add fuel to the ‘folk’ or ‘not-folk’ fire. Simply soak up the essence of yet another branch of folk’s fantastical tree. Listen to ‘Derring Do’ by Chris Wade’s folk project Dodson and Fogg and take it as it comes.

And when you do focus on early 70's progressive folk, then bring to mind Moody Blues, mix in Pink Floyd and Caravan and of course a touch of Hawkwind. Having said that this album may borrow elements from earlier progressive incarnations but it is very much its own master. This is a collection of ethereal melodies more folk than rock that wander and weave around your ears bringing together a mix of instruments that wholly complement each other and the music. It’s a blend of layered vocals across gentle ranging sound scapes. It also a harks back to earlier days when life seemed a little less frenetic and for those of us that recall the time it is a glorious walk with the past. Then again for those born after that time it stands as a statement to itself rather than the recollection of a faded memory.

To pick individual tracks somehow serves to break up the effect. If there’s an album to be taken in its entirety then this is it.However, ‘Leaves They Fall’ is a classic wraithlike, drifting example of its delicate almost insubstantial vocals, whereas ‘Can't Hold Me Down’ has a driving beat with chanting backing vocals and sharp guitar cuts. There’s a feeling of loss and searching around ‘What Goes Around’, while ‘Like It Was Yesterday’ is pure old school folk rock with more touches of contemporary longing for past times. And in many ways satiating that craving is what makes this album so alluring – a root of the past flourishing in the present. So if a slice of folk-infected psychedelia is your pleasure then this is for you.

Along with Chris Wade (vocals, guitar, keyboards, flute, percussion) on ‘Derring Do’ are Celia Humphris (vocals) Nik Turner (flute) Colin Jones (trumpet) Alison O'Donnell (vocals) and Amanda Votta (flute).

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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