SXSW Panel: Nick Drake & 'Way to Blue'
SXSW Panel: Nick Drake & 'Way to Blue'Austin Convention Center, March 16
Famed producer Joe Boyd led what was less a panel and more a multimedia presentation surrounding his most recent project, a tribute to the songs of British folk singer Nick Drake. It included video from the BBC, audio from the Kitchen Sisters, a Robyn Hitchcock video, and live performances by Hitchcock and Dayna Kurtz. Boyd discovered the singer-songwriter in the late Sixties and produced him until Drake committed suicide in 1974. Way to Blue, due April 16, features covers by Hitchcock, Teddy Thompson, Green Gartside (from Scritti Politti), Lisa Hannigan, Vashti Bunyan, and more. From a concert filmed by the BBC, Hannigan did "Black Eyed Dog," accompanying herself on harmonium. Boyd said he chose it to illustrate the "radically different versions of Nick Drake songs that prove his genius." Introduced by Kitchen Sister Davia Nelson, who documented the behind-the-scenes process at the concerts from which the new tribute LP is culled, were snippets from bassist Danny Thompson, who played on the Drake recordings. Hitchcock ended an entertaining and informative hour on a macabre note with his song "I Saw Nick Drake."