Described as a wistful genius with a troubled mind, Nick Drake was largely unknown during his lifetime. He recorded only three albums between 1969 and 1972 with his final two albums Bryter Layter and Pink Moon selling no more than 5000 copies upon initial release. A glance at Spotify today reveals Pink Moon has had over 34 million plays, an indicator that his music is still reaching new generations of listeners.
That status has risen still further in recent years giving rise to tributes and publications such as Nick Drake – Remembered For A While which was co-compiled by his sister Gabrielle Drake. The book featured never before seen photos, family scrapbook press cuttings, handwritten lyrics, letter extracts from Nick to his parents and more. As a companion to his music, it serves his memory far better than a biography.
One artist who has had Nick Drake very much at the forefront of his mind is Singer/Guitarist Keith James. It was almost a decade ago now that Keith performed a beautiful series of concerts entitled The Songs of Nick Drake. At the beginning of the project in 2001, he was the first artist ever to bring this immaculate and intriguingly fragile music to Theatres across the UK in its pure, live concert form. The result was six years of highly acclaimed tours amounting to over 1000 concerts in venues across the UK, Ireland, Holland, France, Italy and Spain including all of Nick’s Schools and Colleges – even Glastonbury Festival.
Keith has now announced a new series of concert dates (see dates below). During his time at Cambridge, Nick became particularly enchanted with the Poetry of William Blake 1757 –1827 – Blake’s influence runs like a warm stream throughout Nick’s music. As a way of continuing his devotion and evaluation, Keith has set a small but powerful collection of Blake’s poems to Nick’s guitar arrangements, featuring his tunings, fluent technique and instinctual sense of melancholy. The concerts will begin with an introductory set of timeless songs by brilliant songwriters – all contemporary with Nick Drake (Richard Thompson, Roy Harper, Sandy Denny, Al Stewart, Vashti Bunyan, John Martyn, Bridget St John and Bert Jansch).
‘Some of the most atmospheric and emotive music you will ever hear’ The Independent
Listen to Keith performing Fruit Tree from Nick’s debut album Five Leaves Left:
The Songs of Nick Drake Tour Dates
SEPTEMBER 12th FARNHAM – MALTINGS
SEPTEMBER 14th HALESWORTH – NEW CUT THEATRE
SEPTEMBER 30th SALTBURN THEATRE
OCTOBER 1st CARLISLE – OLD FIRE STATION
OCTOBER 5th SCARBOROUGH – WOODEND CREATIVE
OCTOBER 13th COVENTRY – BIG COMFY BOOKSHOP
OCTOBER 20th SHREWSBURY – COFFEE HOUSE
NOVEMBER 12th TAVISTOCK – THE WHARF
NOVEMBER 16th PENZANCE – THE ACORN THEATRE
NOVEMBER 17th LYME REGIS – MARINE THEATRE
DECEMBER 8th BOURNEMOUTH – SHELLEY THEATRE
DECEMBER 9th TROWBRIDGE – TOWN HALL ARTS CENTRE
DECEMBER 10th NEWPORT IOW – STRINGS
DECEMBER 14th CARDIFF – ACAPELA
JANUARY 20th LUDLOW – ASSEMBLY ROOMS
FEBRUARY 10th LEDBURY – MARKET THEATRE
FEBRUARY 24th OTLEY – COURTHOUSE
More Details here: http://www.keith-james.com/