Tag Archives: guitar

The lyrics and music of Molly Drake (mother of Nick)

Several posts over the last few months had news of amazing recordings being unearthed. Not the Alexander Bell ones (though they are amazing), but ones of Molly Drake, mother of amazing English folk singer Nick Drake. Turns out they were released a few years ago – along with “Family Tree”, which you can find on Spotify – but they’re new to me, and worth some time.

If you’ve heard any stuff from his three LPs, there’s plenty for you to recognise in her music and poetry. It was her piano that encouraged him in his first reel-to-reel recordings (such as Poor Mum, below). They’re very pretty. What an amazing talent to have had near you, growing up.

Love Isn’t a Right Love isn’t a right, it’s got to be earned
Love isn’t a right that’s got to be learned
Maybe you spent your natural life
Loving husband or loving wife
Were you loving and was your love returned?
Love’s nobody’s fool and nobody’s slave
Love won’t go to school and learn to behave
Ride your love on an easy reign
If love can go it comes back again
Love will haunt us from cradle to the grave
Love’s a whisper, love’s a shout
Love’s a flame that could blow out
Love’s all beauty but make it a duty
And love will lie right down and die
Love, love is a germ you never resist
Love loves the eternal will-o’-the-wisp
Follow him through the darkest day
Love will glimmer and light your way
But grab at him and he flickers away out of sight
Love’s enchanted don’t take it for granted
For love isn’t a right.

How Wild The Wind Blows The acorn carries an oak tree
Sleeping but for a little while
Winter lies in the arms of spring
As a mother carries her child
And never knows
How wild the wind blows
A thought carries a universe
A seed carries a field of grain
Love lies in the arms of change
As a joy carries a pain
And no one knows
How wild the wind blows.

Happiness Happiness is like a bird with twenty wings
Try to catch him as he flies
Happiness is like a bird that only sings
When his head is in the skies
You can try to make him walk beside you
You can say the door is open wide
If you grab at him, woe betide you
I know because I’ve tried
Like a butterfly upon an April morning
Very quickly taking fright
Happiness is come and gone without a warning
Jack-o’-lantern in the night
I will follow him across the meadow
I will follow him across the hill
And if I can catch him I will try to bring you
Why yes, happiness
If I can catch him I will try to bring you
All my love and happiness.


Poor Mum

Nice Bon Iver live session – 25 mins worth

Continuing the slightly angsty live music theme…(really lovely stuff this)

4AD and Jagjaguwar have collaborated on a live session that captures a truly unique Bon Iver performance, featuring Justin Vernon and Sean Carey. On recent tours fans will have become accustomed to seeing Vernon flanked by an eleven-piece band, with the swell in numbers lending a grandiose element to even his most delicate songs. Sidestepping expectations, the idea Vernon presented for this session was to provide a wildly different experience.

Recorded in AIR Studio’s Lyndurst Hall – a building that was originally a church and missionary school designed in 1880 by the great Victorian architect Alfred Waterhouse (designer of the Natural History Museum) – Vernon was joined only by Carey, with the pair positioning themselves opposite one another at two grand pianos. Although neither Justin nor Sean’s first instrument is piano, they were able to remodel the songs in a way that showcases their complimentary vocals and, perhaps more strikingly, a seemingly effortless ability to experiment with form and structure.

As such, fans are treated to jaw-dropping interpretations of several songs from both the new album and the ‘Blood Bank’ EP, as well as a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me”. And interpretation is an apt word, as these songs are artfully abstracted from their original incarnations. Rather than layer the sound as on ‘Bon Iver, Bon Iver’, the focus is on paring back, in part evoking the minimalist approach of contemporary classical music, while remaining true enough to the source material to retain those elements characteristic of Bon Iver.

As on “Babys” and “Hinnom, TX”, Vernon’s trademark falsetto is positioned centre stage, framed by subtle and unexpected instrumental flourishes that render the performance simultaneously weighty and airless. It’s quite an achievement that songs so widely-known and loved in their recorded form are able gain in emotional impact, and stands as testament to Bon Iver’s singular talent.

1. Hinnom, TX
2. Wash.
3. I Can’t Make You Love Me
4. Babys
5. Beth/Rest

Director: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard
Recording & Mixing: Jake Jackson with Brian Joseph
Recorded in London at AIR Studios, October 16, 2011

“Hinnom, TX”, “Wash.”, “Beth/Rest” (c) 2011 April Base Publishing (ASCAP)
“Babys” (c) 2009 April Base Publishing (ASCAP)
“I Cant’ Make You Love Me” (c) 1991 BMG Songs, Almo Music Corp., Bird Blues Music, Hayes Street Music (ASCAP)

Need to listen to this a bit more often…

(I really like the soft clapping in it – sounds like someone tapping on their knees)

Music break – take off your cool

Wouldn’t be nearly as good if he was saying “Take off your coat”. Lovely song – sultry and sensitive and sexy but not saucy.

Tesla Guitar Solo…

About halfway through watching this, I began to find it a little disturbing. Still, chain mail fetish shoes aside, it’s pretty cool…

(I definitely do find the gimp in the background upsetting though)

Stop motion guitar