I was woken this morning from a full five fathom sleep by the shrill steam whistle of a ferry boat about to depart for the tranquil sanctuary of some green Nordic isle.
As I floated upward into consciousness I carried with me a gift from my subconscious: no doubt inspired by the moon above the harbour the previous evening.
So .. luxuriating in the drowsiness of my summer vacation and not equipped or inspired to present you with my customary impeccably researched and deeply pondered musings I offer to you the gift given to me.
Nick Drake. For a spell in the 1970s I was deeply obsessed with the persona and music of Nick Drake (whereas now I remain merely mildly obsessed).
And, there is good reason to be obsessed with the music of a man who left to us, after such a short life, so much intense beauty.
I will have much more to say about Nick Drake later.
For now I will content myself with stating that he was a songwriter with a particularly English, romantic and lyrical sensibility who wrote songs of mythic power.
He was a superlative guitar player with a wholly distinctive tone and sound. And, he was a singer whose voice will haunt your imagination.
River Man has a beguiling pastoral grace demonstrating all the above virtues. I’ve chosen to showcase a live in the studio version recorded for the great British Disc Jockey and cultural bellwether, John Peel.
Nick Drake seemed to live his life drifting further and further away from the safety of the shore.
Yet, even as he heartbreakingly faded away from us into the unknowable blackness beyond he was able to pull from his inner being shafts of light that still blaze with creative fervour.
Like the the moon his music has a mysterious attraction that moves the tides of our hearts.