Red Jasper – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1993)

RedJasper_MidsummerDream4 out of 5 Stars!

Red Jasper is an interesting band from the U.K. that has much more in common with Progressive Folk-related acts such as Jethro Tull, Gryphon, and Strawbs rather than Symphonic Prog or Neo-Prog acts such as Genesis or Marillion, although there are occasions when those latter bands’ influences can be heard, especially when it comes to some of the keyboard sounds.

Generally, the music on A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a nice blending of both acoustic and electric instruments. And with the inclusion of mandolins and whistles, much of Red Jasper’s material feels as if it would be right at home on an album such as Jethro Tull’s Songs From The Wood.

On tracks such as “Dreamscape (Part I & II),” “Treasure Hunt,” “Berkana,” and “Invitation to a Dance,” the melodies and backgrounds are often “medieval” in atmosphere, and the vocalist often delivers his lines like a wandering minstrel or troubadour dramatically addressing the “lords and ladies of the manor.”

Overall, the music contained on A Midsummer Night’s Dream is quality material played in a style Red Jasper continues to develop even into the present day.

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