Nick Drake: Family Tree


Before Nick Drake’s Pink Moon was used to sell Volkswagens and before Zach Braff thought "One of These Things First" was a song Drake’s heart wrote for his movie Garden State, and before reissues of the Nick Drake canon were released, fans of the suicidal acoustic musician would make a pilgrimage to the Drake family home in England just to see where talent and tragedy were created.  Drake’s mother would be cordial, giving visitors who knew so much about the artist only through repeated listens of his catalog, an intimate look at where her son first discovered his music talents.  Upon departure, each guest would receive a homemade souvenir mix-tape of early recordings the Drake family made together. 

Now these tapes have been mastered as Family Tree. with  28 tracks that precedes Drake’s first album, Five Leaves Left. These early demos show the whispy-voiced guitarist belting out the blues, songs by Bob Dylan, playing clarinet, and singing with his mother.  It is a snapshot of an artist as a young man trying to find out what he wants to say to the world.  For the uninitiated, there are much better places to start, however with the short legacy Drake left behind, beggars can’t be choosers.

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