After a pair of well-received documentary projects-“The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights” and “180° South”-Emmett Malloy’s next target is paying tribute to the late British folk-rocker Nick Drake.
The Brushfire Records co-founder has already started work on the as-yet-untitled Drake project, which he says will be “a nice, multilayered piece” including an album, “a little film” and a book. He’s targeted “a variety pack of artists”-so far including Jack Johnson, Andrew Bird and Matt Costa, with more to be added. “I know that with that [Drake] name, we’ll get some great ones,” Malloy says. “I’m just fighting my way through to get the artists I feel will do it justice. I’m excited to get going on it [because] there’s so many great songs.”
Drake’s estate-particularly his sister, Gabrielle-has sanctioned the project, and Malloy says he’s taking pains to ensure it’s a credible endeavor. “Tribute projects, they’re a dime a dozen,” he says. “I’m sure there’s been 50 attempts at this, from every angle. It’s so complicated to get them started and to let people know it’s the real one.”
Drake died in 1974 at the age of 26, after releasing three albums. Previous tribute albums include 1992’s “Brittle Days” and pianist Christopher O’Riley’s “Second Grace: The Music of Nick Drake” in 2007.