Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream
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Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream

Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream will serve as a blog for me to share my thoughts and musings, with a special emphasis on music. The music that will appear in this blog is for evaluation/sampling purposes only, and is designed to promote up and coming bands. Remember, if you like the artist(s), buy the CD! If you are the owner of a sound file and would like it removed, please contact us and we will kindly take it down.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Nick Drake Revisited

I find the whole aura around Nick Drake to be simply fascinating on multiple levels. For one, how is it that such a miserable human being could craft equally beautiful arrangements? Moreover, how could these magnificent works be cast aside by several record companies during his lifetime? And perhaps the greatest irony of all is the sudden popularity and prevalence of Nick Drake tribute artists/bands over the past several years. Now the record companies are willing to sponsor anything with his name on it!

I would like to draw your attention, though, to the most recent of the Nick Drake tribute artists--esteemed classical pianist and now cover artist Christopher O'Riley. After having released a successful tribute album for Radiohead, O'Riley takes on the melodic piano-heavy music of Nick Drake and again achieves success. Second Grace: The Music of Nick Drake is a collection of modest grand piano arrangements that convey the grace and beauty of Drake's music with each stroke. Perhaps it's just hearing the music played on a finer instrument that enhances its effect, but I would like to think that O'Riley's skill has a great deal to do with it as well. "Three Hours" perfectly captures that addictive dissonance of the real version, while "Northern Sky" and "One of These Things First" have a particular fragility to them that make up for the lack of vocals. O'Riley is truly at his best on "Introduction-Bryter Layer", which finds him not only mimicking but somehow taking the Drake's work to the next level.

Go and and get a copy of Second Grace: The Music of Nick Drake
Listen to "Introduction - Bryter Layer" (4.7/5)
Listen to "One Of These Things First" (4.6/5)

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