This week, Jealous Kind, a great song by Bobby Charles recorded by Joe Cocker, Ray Charles, Etta James…I’ve always liked the song since I heard Joe Cocker do it a few years back. This week features Paul Tkachenko on sousaphone – please check out his website at for a glimpse into his multi-instrumental world – in particular, check out the instruments he’s actually invented and made himself…

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So, Nick Drake…incredibly moving songs, sometimes disturbing to me but always something really interesting and unique about the ways he does everything – his melodies and chord sequences, guitar style, meter and – perhaps pivotally – his lyrics. I was made aware of him in my teens when I used to play in a local rock n roll band in Dorset. We used to play Eddie Cochran, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and some more rockabilly edged tunes. No Nick Drake in the set (!) but the drummer in the band was an old friend of Nick’s and brought him up in conversation one day, citing a few personal stories of a mainly tragic nature.  Initially, his music didn’t deal me a knock out punch, possibly because I was heavily into jazz at that time and it was only after hearing Brad Mehldau’s version of ‘River Man’ a couple of years later that made me go back and listen again.  On this return visit I was stunned by the beauty of it, from his writing through to the production on the albums – just listen to the strings on Five Leaves Left. Brad Mehldau is a big fan, so I’ve posted both Nick Drake’s original version of ‘Things Behind The Sun’ as well as a live recording of Brad Mehldau’s take on ‘River Man’. Enjoy.