Friday, May 01, 2020

Album Sleeve Challenge Day 4

Not sure I'll get to the end of the Facebook thing to name 10 albums that have influenced my musical taste, but here's the next one. I'm providing the explanation of my choices over here on the blog, because the 'challenge' asks you not to do that in your Facebook post.

I discovered Nick Drake's music quite late in the day - not that there's a great quantity to discover. He managed 3 proper album releases before his premature death, and some archive material has been released since. No known live footage exists, and much about him remains a bit of a mystery.

However, his first album, Five Leaves Left, remains my favourite. In many ways it's a very simple production with enough strings to provide drama and atmosphere, but not so much that the songs get sanitised and drowned out. Richard Thompson contributes guitar on the opening track, and Danny Thompson [no relation] features on bass on several.

The different chords, tunings, rhythms and time signatures of his guitar work made me go back to my standard-tuned acoustic to see if I could learn new things after all these years. One day I'll master River Man. As an album, it's well worth a listen, and you may find you recognise at least one track.

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