If you have never heard of British singer/songwriter Nick Drake, it is because he maintained a very low profile, releasing three albums before dying at the young age of 26. Yet over the last 35 years his amazing talent has been realized more and more and he is now seen as one of the most influential British singer-songwriters of the last half century.
I have always been a vocal supporter of the Jason Parker Quartet, and not just because I like their music! Jason Parker uses technology in a very intelligent and cooperative way to work with his audience and grow his listener base. His ‘pay what you want’ system is great, and now he is back requesting help trying to complete his latest project – a tribute recording to Nick Drake.
Here is some background:
“Why Nick Drake?”, you might ask. All I can tell you is that his music speaks to me. I’ve been a fan since the very first time I heard his delicate voice and incredible guitar work on the radio. His music is so evocative. Listening to his music conjures up images of the stark British countryside, fog rolling over the moors, rain sweeping the windows. Sounds like Seattle, doesn’t it? Perhaps that’s why his music resonates with me so profoundly – because it speaks to my sense of place, my home. Whatever the case, there’s nothing more exquisite than putting “Day Is Done” on the hi-fi at full volume and drinking in the Autumnal scenes outside the window.
His music is also perfectly suited to the JPQ. The songs are fairly simple harmonically, which leaves us ample room to improvise and put our own stamp on them. You can watch a video of us playing Nick’s tune “Three Hours” live here.
And here is why he needs the money:
I want to do this project right, which is going to cost a significant amount of money. I’m putting as much of my own money into it as I can afford (and as my wife will let me!). I’ve gotten a grant from Jack Straw for 50% off their studio fees. But I still need about $5000. This money will be used to:
– Pay Josh, Evan, D’Vonne, Cynthia & Michele a fair wage for rehearsals and recording sessions
– Pay Jack Straw Studios $27.50/hr. for studio time (this is half price!)
– Pay Doug Haire, our amazing recording engineer
– Pay Robert Lange, our amazing mixer
– Pay Mark Guenther, our amazing mastering engineer
– Pay the Nick Drake estate licensing fees to record Nick’s music
As you can see, your pledge isn’t all about me, it also supports 8 hard-working independent artists and a non-profit recording studio. You are helping to support a large cross-section of the music scene here in Seattle!
I suggest you check out the homepage for the Nick Drake Tribute, and also Jason Parker’s blog. If possible, contribute what you can, but at least check out some of the background about Parker, Drake and listen to some of the music … and maybe send along a note of support even if you cannot contribute financially.
Before I leave, here is a video of perhaps the most familiar of Drake’s song, Pink Moon, which was featured by Volkswagon in an advertisement: