Nick Drake Family Tree

Nick Drake Family Tree
There is often something odiferous in posthumous releases of artists who clearly couldn’t give permission (think Tupac, Hendrix, Jeff Buckley). Controversy has arisen over this collection of early recordings and demos but given the still growing interest in the life and work of the doomed Anglo folkie (some 42 years after his death), it’s sure to get plenty of attention. It is clearly the work of a young artist still finding his own sound, though that lovely, sweet and gentle voice is already in place. Less than half the 28 songs here are originals, the rest are traditional folk and blues tunes, or covers of peers like Bert Jansch, Dylan (a nice take on "Tomorrow Is A Long Time”) and Jackson C. Frank. A couple of songs sung by his mother Molly are pleasant but rather pointless, as is the inclusion of a chamber music piece featuring Nick on clarinet. Sister Gabrielle authorised this collection and duets with Nick on "All My Trials.” Family Tree will be an essential purchase for those with a Drake obsession but the less committed admirer would be better served by checking out a fully realised album from the likes of Bert Jansch or John Martyn instead. (Tsunami)