Lisa Hannigan provides our Navigator track of the week this week with her version of the Nick Drake song, Black-Eyed Dog which is taken from the album Way To Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake.
Undoubtedly one of the most influential English singer-songwriters of the last 50 years, Nick Drake found little mainstream success during his lifetime; however, since his untimely death at the age of 26, his fragile acoustic, autumnal music has and continues to touch the hearts of millions of people.
Over the years since Drake’s death, his original producer Joe Boyd explored the possibility of producing an album in tribute to his songwriting. But despite many well-known artists wishing to participate, he always resisted, because it seemed the only practical way to accomplish it would be for each artist to supply a track recorded separately, with their own chosen musicians.
Boyd felt that the only way to avoid the pitfalls of the typical Tribute Album would be to have everyone together for a week in a rural studio, backing each other with harmonies and guitar parts, creating an organic whole of an album. By performing Way To Blue fifteen times over the course of four years, he has accomplished something resembling his original dream. The songs have been honed and shaped over the course of time, and the spirit of togetherness among the Way To Blue company has proved inspiring to all participants.
“From the first time Nick played me ‘Time Has Told Me’, I knew his songs would sound wonderful in the mouths of great singers. Working with this terrific cast in halls from London to Sydney was gratifying proof of the brilliance of Nick’s songwriting. Each performance illuminates and expands Nick’s legacy.” Joe Boyd