Wisdom Twins 2013
Leeds polymath delves into the quiet joys of brotherhood to send new ripples all over the tradition.
A man of many talents, 28-year-old Chris Wade packs an enviable volume of work behind his richly embroidered belt, including books both fictional and non-fictional, yet, perhaps, nothing as immediate as DODSON AND FOGG, his prog-folk troupe that numbers legends twice his age. The veterans have all the rights to be in awe of Wade, as this, the band’s second album could have been a cult classic had it been released four decades ago.
It invites you to savor the faux patina with an exquisite acoustic strum before the spectral flute of HAWKWIND’s Nik Turner infuses a magic airiness into the harpsichord-spiked “Flying High”, where gloomy soar is enlivened with TREES’ Celia Humphris’ ghostly voice. The title track’s bedroom march might bust such a sweet fog, but a harmony guitar rocks the heart of “Can’t Hold Me Down” even bolder.
From the electric waltz of “Like It Was Yesterday” to the “Dreams Of You And Me” Renaissance twang, haunting moments abound here, surprises lurking in the arrangements: where one would expect a piper, soulful Motown brass sways the Celtic mare of “Too Bright” and a melancholic mariachi trumpet appears, lost in the haze of “What Goes Around”. Yet while the occasional hint at Ian Anderson vocal fleck sounds like a homage, the dylanisms of “I Have You” tend to jar and are wisely washed away with the orchestral scope behind “Everybody Knows” with its delicate wooden percussion. Then the gentle “Time” passes its elegance to the grand finale of “Why Not Take Your Time?” making one feel that was exactly what Chris Wade did – only to generously share it with his listener. Daring, indeed.