A collaboration between English producer and multi-instrumentalist Andy Lewis and seminal U.K. folk vocalist Judy Dyble, the aptly named Summer Dancing delivers a balmy set of lush, electronic dream pop with flourishes of pastoral English folk and Swinging London-era psych-pop. Lewis, a popular Brit-pop-era DJ and former bass player for Paul Weller, clearly has an affinity for British psychedelia -- the overall vibe here is as groovy as it is bucolic -- and his ornate, yet tasteful arrangements provide a sympathetic framework for Dyble's evocative lyrics and warm delivery. If anything, the 14-track set hews closer to Dyble and then-boyfriend Jackie McAuley's sole outing under the Trader Horne moniker, 1970's cult classic Morning Way, than it does her work on the first Fairport Convention album or with Giles, Giles, & Fripp (Robert Fripp and the Giles brothers' pre-King Crimson outfit). Summer Dancing is at its most compelling when Lewis and Dyble blur the lines between rural magic-folk and urban sunshine pop, as they do splendidly on standouts like "My Electric Chauffeur," "Summers of Love," and the sentimental title cut. Nostalgia looms large, especially on deeper cuts like "Treasure" and "A Net of Memories (London)," the latter of which provides an evocative and detailed meditation on her hometown and the vibrant scene that launched her music career. Dyble's recorded output, which is often overshadowed by the prolificacy of contemporaries like Sandy Denny (Fairport Convention), Maddy Prior (Steeleye Span), and Jacqui McShee (Pentangle), is quality stuff that has aged well, and Summer Dancing does nothing to tarnish that reputation, as it lovingly invokes both the past and the future without fully submitting to either.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger