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Red Jasper - A Midsummer Night's Dream  CD (album) cover


Red Jasper


Prog Folk

3.45 | 29 ratings

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3 stars ''Sting in the Tale'' received positive reviews back in early-90's, but tensions within the band started to grow, leading to the departure of both Pat D'Arcy and Tony Heath.Jon Thornton became the new bassist of the band.Later Red Jasper went on for their first live album, first attempt was unsuccesful due to technical problems after a show at the Bristol Bierkeller, they took another chance a few months later at The Fleece and Firkin in Bristol and the album was released on HTD in 1992 as ''Action replay''.Keyboardist Lloyd George helped the band during these lives and eventually became Red Jasper's fifth ful-time member.With a growing fame even outside Europe they were signed by the Dutch label SI for the release of ''A midsummer night's dream'' in 1993, inspired by the work of William Shakespeare and recorded at the Broad Oak Studio in Herefordshire.

Red Jasper's sound had become more focused and direct around the time, their style was heavily rooted in the past works of JETHRO TULL, but they had an obvious MARILLION-esque flavor during the more energetic parts and lyrical moments.Despite adding Lloyd George on keyboards, the material is rather guitar-oriented with powerful rhythms, expressive singing and laid-back, bucolic soundscapes, featuring a few bombastic synth runs but also plenty of delicate piano work.Apart from their standard references to British Folk they had now added some pinches of Celtic Music in the process with all these rural guitar tones, while they flirted strongly with the 80's British Neo Prog stylings with Dodds sounding like the reincarnation of FISH.Lots of mandolin string themes and whistles combine with some spacious keys and the passionate electric guitars for music, that is ethereal, dynamic and vintage at the same time.The whole style also reminds me of Italians ASGARD, especially when Dodds' voice becomes very trobadour-like and the grandiose keyboards support the strong electric riffing.Very enganging and unique music with a convincing approach.And while Red Jasper's debut was filled with short compositions, this one shows an attempt by the band to create solid epic cuts, like the beautiful ''Dreamscape'', a nice amalgam of Folk sounds and modern Prog Rock.

A step closer to the warmest of recommendations.Very cohesive music with bucolic touches and Neo Prog aesthectics, sounding like Marillion meeting with Jethro Tull and The Strawbs.Good and strongly recommended music...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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