Long-time Nick Drake producer and collaborator Joe Boyd is honoring the singer’s memory with a tribute album to be released tomorrow, April 16. The record, entitled Way to Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake features recorded, edited versions covers of his songs from the 2009 tribute concert that Boyd had organized in his memory along with other covers. With versions of Drake classics done by Vashti Bunyan, Robyn Hitchcock and and Teddy Thompson, the album will assuredly capture the grace and tenderness of Drake’s catalogue. His tragic death in 1974 at the age of 26 is one of the most distressing of the era, especially given the layered, gorgeous records he managed to create even in such a brief span of time.
In an intriguing twist, Squirrel Thing Recordings released a record of unreleased, never before heard songs by Nick’s mother, Molly Drake. The self-titled record was recorded in the 1950s in the Drake home and was only recently unearthed and restored by engineer John Wood, who often worked with Nick in the past. The record came out just over a month ago, on March 5, and Boyd calls this album “the missing link in the Nick Drake story.” The songs are soft and simmering, but speak to the intense lyricism and emotion contained in Nick’s own writing.
Later this week, which has been dubbed Nick Drake week, Boyd will also be lecturing at this year’s EMP conference. On Thursday, April 18, he’ll discuss “the enduring music of Nick Drake and today’s pop music canon.” Stream Molly Drake’s record below or buy a physical copy from Squirrel Thing by visiting the bandcamp page.