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Dodson and Fogg - Swim

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 10 / 4 / 2020

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


Chris Wade’s Dodson and Fogg project has already released a follow-up EP to this album released late last year but this is still classic Wade

We are a little slow in writing a few words about ‘Swim’, the album multi-instrumentalist Chris Wade issued under his Dodson & Fogg alter ego at the end of 2019 which was his third full-length album of that year. I was going to start this piece with “As it’s been out for a couple of months then I guess Wade has already got a follow-up finished and ready to go,” but not only has Wade already released a six-track EP since releasing ‘Swim’ it appears that it has already sold out. That’ll teach me to jump on his next release the second I see it. But it’s probably already too late given his work rate… ‘Swim’ then; ten new Wade originals recorded in October and November 2019, as usual Wade wrote, produced and played all the instruments on the album. Linzi Napier once again provides the striking artwork which has become an essential part of any Dodson & Fogg album. As with the album before this one, ‘Watching The World’, the sound is distinctively Chris Wade from the off. It could be argued that Wade found his own sound very early on ; the very first self-titled Dodson & Fogg album from 2012 isn’t a million miles removed sonically from this latest set of songs. But Wade isn’t simply recycling his most innovative and interesting songs, no matter where you dip into his vast back catalogue of songs Wade has always added a new twist, slight nuances that have moved his music on and kept it sounding fresh and always original. Vocally Wade has not changed much at all, if at all. His sleepy, laid-back vocals would be his trademark now if it wasn’t for the fact that he is one of our most inventive yet instantly recognisable guitarists. The seven minute ‘The Garden’, another of Wade’s compelling, innovative instrumentals which closes ‘Swim’, starts with tweeting birds before Wade displays his skill on both acoustic and electric instruments. If this track had been on a Pink Floyd album it would have been hailed as a classic. Wade didn’t just play one instrument here he made every sound and when he takes off on one of his electric guitar solos you could be forgiven for thinking that it was your chosen axe God you were listening to. The guy leaves many more celebrated musicians in the shade. One day Wade will get the recognition he deserves. ‘Swim’ also features a couple of Wade’s best tender love songs. ‘In the Moment’ captures a space in time with a loved one, his acoustic guitar playing here is once more outstanding. A touching love song to which Wade’s dreamy vocal style is perfect for. ‘She’s My World’ is another track showing Wade’s knack for creating love songs which are not too heavy on the sugar. Once again Wade’s guitar playing says just as much, if not more, than his vocals. ‘The Lost Cyclist’ is another instrumental but this one displays a harder edge than the closer which it precedes. The usual searing Wade electric guitar makes an appearance but there’s a surprise in store when the warm Hammond-type organ makes an appearance bringing back memories of Georgie Fame and Booker T Jones. And is that a flute in there? One can never be sure with Wade ; he can get sounds out of an instrument that not even the makers thought of. I promise myself every time when writing about Dodson & Fogg that I’m not going to mention the Marc Bolan / T.Rex-isms that I occasionally hear in Wade’s music but ‘How Long’, while vocally displaying that the early comparisons made in this magazine between Wade and Bolan are still valid, also owes a slight debt to Bolan’s boogie style guitar playing. It feels unjust to compare such a unique talent as Wade to another musician, especially one who has created his own style but hopefully Bolan fanatics who have yet to check Wade out will find common ground there and widen Wade’s fanbase even more. Really the first track, ‘Blue Skies’, is all the uninitiated need to hear to be smitten by the music Wade produces. If the voice doesn’t grab you then Wade’s electric guitar playing will win you over. As ever if you find yourself with a spare hour or two a visit to Wade’s website at http://wisdomtwinsbooks.weebly.com is the best way to check out all the various activities that our most prolific musician/author is involved in. There really is no other like our Chris.

Track Listing:-
1 Blue Skies
2 Let Us Be
3 In the Moment
4 How Long
5 Long Ago
6 I'm Never Coming Back (To This Place)
7 She Is My World
8 Coming Down Sideways
9 The Lost Cyclist
10 The Garden

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