Dando Shaft

Dando ShaftFrom: Coventry, England

Dando Shaft is the name of a short-lived psychedelic/progressive folk and folk jazz band primarily active in the early 1970s. Today, the band is known primarily as one of the major influences on the progressive stream of the 1960s folk revival.

Forming in Coventry, England, in 1968, Dando Shaft was composed of guitar/vocalists Kevin Dempsey and Dave Cooper, multi-instrumentalist Martin Jenkins, bassist Roger Bullen, and tabla/percussionist Ted Kay. Their name was taken from the title character of a 1965 novel by Don Calhoun. Dando Shaft performed in local English venues for the next two years while remaining active in the folk revival scene. They were offered a recording deal with Young Blood Records and recorded their debut, An Evening With Dando Shaft, in 1970. The album was well received, drawing comparisons to the work of Pentangle, but demonstrating more of an emphasis on original folk compositions as well as bluegrass and Balkan rhythmic structures.

The comparisons to Pentangle only grew stronger when, after to moving to London in 1970, the band added Leamington Spa singer Polly Bolton who had previously sung with June Tabor. Dando Shaft developed an even greater amount of respect from critics, and were soon signed to RCA’s progressive offshoot, Neon. In 1971, the band released the eponymous album, Dando Shaft.

Both of Dando Shaft’s first two albums were critically acclaimed, however, neither achieved a great deal of commercial success. Regardless of this, the band was moved from Neon to the RCA parent label in 1972 for the release of their third album, Lantaloon. This effort received fewer accolades and saw even less commercial success. At this time, the band began moving toward more mainstream rock, a shift that caused internal dissension, causing the band to soon break up. Dempsey and Bolton formed a duo in the USA, and Jenkins joined Hedgehog Pie. Dando Shaft reunited for brief periods in both 1977 and 1989. In 1977, the band released the album Kingdom, and in 1993, a live album from the 1989 shows was released.

Artist Info: Wikipedia

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1970 album An Evening With Dando Shaft
An Evening With...

  • Cold Wind

From the 2002 compilation Anthology

  • Thruxton Flute