# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Dodson and Fogg - Down at the Beach/Five Songs from the Cave

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 18 / 7 / 2017

Dodson and Fogg - Down at the Beach/Five Songs from the Cave
Label: Widsom Twin Books
Format: CDS


Two EPs from Dodson & Fogg, the music project from the prolific Chris Wade who has released a dozen albums in the past five years and still not run out of ideas

A recent look at Chris Wade’s website reveals that he’s already released another full-length album since issuing these two EPs earlier this year. The multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, author and filmmaker doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Maybe the most remarkable thing about this talented artist is that despite releasing eleven albums since 2012 under the Dodson & Fogg banner (a round dozen including the latest, ‘Follow the Path’, and that’s not taking into account his other musical projects nor his film and book assignments) the quality of his work hasn’t dipped at all. First thoughts are why, when Wade issued the EPs in quick succession why he didn’t combine them into one album. ‘Down at the Beach’ features six songs and all eleven songs spread over the two EPs were written produced and performed by Wade alone. There are no famous friends lending a hand this time. Maybe it’s this writer’s ears, maybe a change of headphones but Wade seems to be more out front vocally on ‘Five Songs from the Cave’ than he has on his previous releases. His vocals are still dream-like but to these ears it sounds like Wade has pushed his vocals forward and it’s given the songs on this EP an extra edge. While Wade has always been capable of making the listener drift off on a journey with him in his songs, it’s been more of a laid-back floating on the river on a lazy summer day trip despite some scorching lead guitar work from our still most underrated guitarist. On these five tracks with his vocals more prominent its still a relaxing ride but there’s an edge vocally which this scribe hasn’t picked up on anyway. Apart from that the five tracks are exactly what we have come to expect from Wade in his Dodson & Fogg guise, melodic folk/pop/rock lovingly played and put together. Banging on about how talented Wade is as a guitarist is something we seem to do in every review of his work but it’s true and there are so many examples of this spread over these five songs. The EP is instantly recognisable as a Dodson & Fogg recording. We might be late in recommending this particular EP but with the sun beginning to make a more regular appearance right now maybe it’s the right time to appreciate ‘Five Songs from the Cave’, Wade’s music always evokes summers past for some reason. It’s another excellent addition to the Dodson and Fogg discography. What is noticeable is that in the past we’ve mentioned early Pink Floyd, Marc Bolan (which I still stand by to some degree) and other 60's artists when describing Wade’s Dodson & Fogg work. When listening to ‘Five Songs from the Cave’ only one name comes to mind now and that’s Chris Wade. While there are still traces of certain bands in his work Wade now, without any doubt, has developed a sound of his own. It’s been said before and probably in this magazine but it’s the first time that no other musician has readily come to mind when listening to a Dodson & Fogg collection. You press play and expect a certain sound to hit you; the sound of Dodson & Fogg, and it does, especially on this EP. The opening track on the ‘Down at the Beach’ EP is ‘For Eternity’ and the acoustic ballad with tinkling piano is once more typical Dodson & Fogg. Reverting a little to the dreamier, otherworldly vibes that were part of his earlier albums vocally the instrumental ending is unexpected and also stirring. Again even on this track, which recalls his earlier work, Wade’s vocals sound more up front. Maybe he’s more confident as a vocalist now or as said previously maybe it’s just this writer but his vocals have never sounded so strong despite keeping his unique laid-back style. ‘Leonard (Brother of Mercy)’ was obviously inspired by the sadly departed Mr. Cohen and is embellished with some fine acoustic guitar picking by Wade again it’s instantly recognisable as Wade this time showing his more thoughtful and reflective side. The song also highlights just how talented Wade is as a lyricist, something we tend to forget as his skills on whatever instrument he lays his hands on turns out to be the focus point as the guitar playing on this particular song confirms. ‘Somewhere by the Sea’ while still retaining that mellow feel due to his vocals is something of a departure for Wade, a lively shuffle which reflects the title of the song. ‘For You’ is simply gorgeous and if Wade is handling all the vocals on this ballad then he’s an even better singer and arranger than even this magazine has given him credit for in the past. ‘You’re Not Alone’ proves once again why we rate Wade so highly as a guitarist, his electric guitar surely surrendered after this track. The closing ‘Nanook’ shows a funkier side to Wade than he has revealed before; his lead guitar playing once more leaves the listener breathless. If you’ve yet to hear the talent that is Chris Wade try the ‘Down At The Beach’ EP first as it displays more sides to his music than ‘Five Songs from the Cave’. If you’re already a fan then you’ve been to http://wisdomtwinsbooks.weebly.com and ordered them already of course.

Track Listing:-
1 Oh So Strong
2 Always Wanting More
3 Up in the Sky
4 The Crowd of Clowns
5 Freedom's Just a Word
6 For Eternity
7 Leonard (Brother of Mercy)
8 Somewhere By the Sea
9 For You
10 You're Not Alone
11 Nanook

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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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