Davey Dodds and Friends

Thu 13th September, 2018
8:00 pm - 10:30 pm (Doors: 7:30pm)
Davey Dodds and Friends

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Tagged in: Folk, Folk Rock

In another life, on another planet, Davey Dodds was the front man of the quintessentially English progressive rock band, Red Jasper. His song writing, often in combination with Robin Harrison, and his individual style, gave the band a unique character. They were signed to the Dutch record label S I Music and when it went under in 1994, Davey quietly drifted away from the music scene and industry.

He didn’t suffer from withdrawal symptoms because he was enjoying life! Working as a fly-fishing guide and writer satisfied his creative spirit and took him to fabulous places. He had never been an urban person and wielding his fly rod in the pristine wilderness of Northern Manitoba and off the coast of Finland on The Kwarken Archipelago suited him perfectly.

A couple of years ago, Davey moved back to the Far West from his adopted home in rural Wiltshire. The places and the people of Cornwall combined to get him writing and playing again. Getting his playing back to a high standard took plenty of work and practice. After a break of twenty two years he has certainly retained the ability to write incisive songs. He writes great songs because he lives life to the full. He has never regarded the rural environment as something to observe from the outside. With his fly rod and his lurcher dog he has always been part of that environment. His recent adventures at Salty Dog Studio in Looe (run by fellow fly fisher Derek Aunger) have produced a stunning new album. Keowcopia isn’t the end of the adventure. Now Davey has invited The Muse back into his life, he can’t shake her off! He has teamed up with Martin Solomon who plays fiddle and Celtic harp with virtuosity and style. Now that the word is out, they are being booked to play some top venues. In the studio and on the stage, Davey Dodds is a consummate performer – not to be missed!

Kernowcopia – Review

Style, grace and honesty: progressive folk’s prodigal son finds a different context for songs old and new.

It’s been two decades since this singer was last last heard of, and while the last years saw RED JASPER alive and kicking again, their former front man remained invisible – until now. He may have enjoyed life in various reaches of the world, yet surely it couldn’t be full without music, and not for nothing the title of the veteran’s return is marrying the artist’s location and creative fertility, although “Kernowcopia” has Davey’s fresh fruits limited in quantity in order to reveal a new quality in the pieces from Dodd’s past.

Where the Englishman’s erstwhile approach would be to weave his voice into a thick instrumental tapestry and tell a many-layered story, now Davey’s method is creating a threadbare, transparent, web-like experience of a song. It’s a cocoon of sorts, unraveling most impressively when the vocalist looks back on Dodd’s own classics such as “The Magpie” that THE UNTHANKS recently returned to the public attention: stripped of sonic assault and ensemble harmonies inherent to its “Sting In The Tale” original and left at the mercy of its writer’s a cappella choir that doesn’t require even the slightest strum, the tune is packing a mightier punch.

As only a couple cuts are given a group treatment, Davey’s ex-colleagues flocking in to adorn “Shoot The Gruffalo” and “Merlin’s Isle Of Gramarye” in an ethereal electric garb, most of the album numbers glimmer in the light reflected off Dodd’s mandolin and Martin Solomon’s fiddle and Celtic harp which make pieces like “Storm Cat Song” possessed with intrepid spirituality. There’s an occasional riff in there, what with bodhran spicing up the “Ship On The Sea” reel, yet, distilled to essentials, “Contented Man” taps into eternity rather than the transitional instant, as it did on “Action Replay”, and becomes lucid, while “Jean’s Tune” has somehow lost the edge it showed on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – but the dramatic “Kick Off Your Shoes” is in fact a riveting invitation for a dance the whole album may amount to. It’s something that’s impossible to refuse, just because it’s beautiful.