You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Album Review | Singer-Songwriter

Various Artists, ‘Way to Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake’

Continue reading below

A prophet of tristesse, Nick Drake went unappreciated in his day. After meager record sales, he died of an apparent suicide in 1974 in his native England. His poetic folk-rock songs have been rediscovered via TV ads and soundtracks and should receive a further boost from this tribute compiled by his original producer, Joe Boyd. Drake purists might question some arrangements ­— Boyd sweetens certain tracks with more strings and jazz/world music flourishes by Bangladeshi pianist Zoe Rahman — but he still has Pentangle bassist Danny Thompson, who recorded with Drake. What makes this a must-listen is the variety and passion of the singers. Boyd took a core band on the road and recorded shows with singers in Britain, Italy, and Australia. Robyn Hitchcock, Teddy Thompson, and Scritti Politti's Green Gartside might be the best known, but the real surprises are Damien Rice’s vocal partner, Lisa Hannigan (a mystical “Black Eyed Dog’’), and Aussie duo Luluc (a spectacularly desperate “Fly’’). Drake's intricate guitar parts are played celestially by Neill MacColl, son of British folk great Ewan MacColl. They all take some liberties with the music, but Drake's lonely outcast vibe is well-preserved. (Out Tuesday)

Essential “Fly’’

Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of