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Dodson and Fogg - Dodson and Fogg

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 31 / 10 / 2012

Dodson and Fogg - Dodson and Fogg
Label: Wisdom Twin Records
Format: CD


Remarkable debut album from Dodson and Wade, the project of Leeds-based writer/illustrator and musician Chris Wade, which, while evoking the sound of early 70's progressive folk, also remains totally unique and fresh

Chris Wade appears to have incorporated a lot into his twenty-something years. The Leeds based writer/illustrator and musician has been involved in many projects over the years according to his website (including an audiobook with Rik Mayall), but currently Wade is concentrating on his folk/prog (his words, not mine) project which he has christened Dodson and Fogg. A lot of this so-called new acid-folk can be hard going even for those of us who fondly remember such bands as the Incredible String Band and Tir Na Nog. If the basic songs aren’t there, as with any genre, it is never going to work or sound good no matter if weird is an accepted part of the equation or not. But this man Wade, he’s good… Where the name Dodson and Fogg comes from remains a mystery. With Wade’s fertile mind, it is, however, pointless to speculate. This is very much a Chris Wade album; he wrote all the songs, co-produced the album with Linzi Napier, released it on his own label and plays guitar, bass, keyboards, flute and bongos as well as providing the lead vocals. He has, however, roped in some very interesting guests to help him on his debut album. Nik Turner from Hawkwind plays flute very effectively on a number of songs, and original Fairport Convention singer Judy Dyble contributes backing vocals. As if that’s not enough Wade also secured the services of Celia Humphris from the band Trees who in 1970 recorded two outstanding progressive folk albums in ‘The Garden of Jane Delawney’ and ‘On the Shore’ to also provide backing vocals. Just looking at that list of musicians on the CD inlay makes the heart skip a beat. Add to all that the talents of former Skin Alley organist Krzysztof Juszkiewicz on accordion, Alice White (violin) and Ellie Davies (cello), and Wade’s onto a winner before a sound has been heard. The sound of folk music of the late sixties and early seventies oozes out of each and every song here, and is something Wade obviously tried to achieve, but that he has so faithfully reproduced this particular sound so perfectly yet still manages to make it sound fresh and so very much a part of today’s music scene is remarkable. Many, many artists have tried to make an album as strong as this, one that evokes the spirit and sound of early 70's progressive folk, especially over the last few years, and failed or have just fallen short of their goal. Wade has, over the course of twelve original songs, captured all that was great about a genre of music that hit its peak decades before he was born and made a remarkable album. You can take any major player in any of the various folk genres over the last five decades, and find some of their influence in these songs. But it’s not just folk names that creep in. At times it’s like listening to classic Jethro Tull. Other times Barrett-era Pink Floyd sneak in, and there is even echoes of early solo Paul Weller making fleeting appearances. For all its retro sound, there are plenty of new sounds interwoven here to keep things interesting. As with all good songs that stand the test of time (and these will, every time you listen you’ll hear things you missed the time before. Wade has the songs. There is little information available just now as to how long he has been working on not just this project, but the actual songs but Wade has just got to be one of our most promising writers just now. While Wade isn’t the only musician looking over his shoulder at Britain’s rich musical past for inspiration, it is frustrating to see other lesser talents reap the rewards that Wade so obviously should be receiving. A review without even mentioning one song title then? Well, try the psychedelia of ‘Nothing At All’ for starters and marvel at how talented Wade is on guitar, how the flute really does set the tone of the song and how Wade’s dream-like vocals send you off on a mystery journey you won’t want to end. Or why not the laid-back summer day of a song that Wade calls ‘Say Goodbye’; the whole point is that it is futile highlighting just a song or three. Every single sound never mind song on this album demands to be heard by anyone who cares about their music. With brilliant illustrations (presumably drawn by Wade) this is an excellent package that has seemingly come out of nowhere to make one of the biggest impressions of 2012.

Track Listing:-
1 All Day Long (feat. Celia Humphris)
2 Just You and Me
3 Meet Our May (feat. Celia Humphris)
4 Foot Prints
5 Nothing At All (feat. Nik Turner)
6 Say Goodbye (feat. Celia Humphris)
7 Where On Earth
8 Endless Sky (feat. Nik Turner)
9 The Slime (feat. Krzysztof Juszkiewicz)
10 Weather Changes (feat. Judy Dyble)
11 She Is Everything
12 Crinkle Drive (feat. Nik Turner)

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Interview (2022)
Dodson and Fogg - Interview
Chris Wade speaks about his work as Dodson & Fogg, working with actors for his latest project, maintaining a breakneck work rate and why he’s putting the Dodson & Fogg name on hold
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Interview (2012)


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