When the world seemed too remote, too difficult to negotiate, I recognised in him a spirit brave and brilliant enough to articulate in music what was an incoherent fog within me.
Each year, either on Ash Wednesday or during Lent, I try to focus some of my attention on a musical artist or album from the popular culture of my lifetime in which I find echoes of the Lenten journey. In past years we’ve considered the music of Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan’s John Wesley Harding, and Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and last year we followed the long, strange journey of Neil Young.
Ash - Wednesday - Singer-songwriters - People - Brilliant
Here in 2018, on Ash Wednesday, I’m thinking of one of the best singer-songwriters most people have never heard of, whose three brilliant albums weren’t appreciated nearly as much during his lifetime as they have come to be in later years. This is Nick Drake, the prodigious young English guitarist and singer at the turn of the 1970s, whose haunting songs and tragic death from an overdose of antidepressants at age 26 earned him a cult following for a time. However, as the years have passed Drake has gained wider recognition for his genius, and his influence has grown exponentially.
Here is Drake’s bio at Rolling Stone:
Nick - Drake - Death - Eerie - Folk
Since Nick Drake’s death, his eerie, jazz-tinged folk music has had an ever-growing cult following. Born to British parents, Drake spent his first two years on the Indian subcontinent before moving to the English village of Tanworth-in-Arden. He played saxophone and clarinet in school but turned to the guitar at age 16. Two years later he began writing his own songs. He was a student at Cambridge University in 1968, when Ashley Hutchings of Fairport Convention heard him performing at London’s Roundhouse. Hutchings introduced him to Joe Boyd, who managed Fairport, John Martyn, and...
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