Last updated on September 23, 2021
Listen to the new track on…
In early lockdown, 2021, four of us got together and started sharing bits of recordings we’d made of Nick Drake covers. This mini project, featuring Katherine Priddy on vocals, Lukas Drinkwater on double bass, Jon Nice on keyboards and backing vocals, and me (Jon Wilks) on guitars, backing vocals and percussion (my knees, mostly), began with a recording of “Northern Sky” and continued with “River Man” (with a video made by Raised By Wolves). Both tracks were released on Spotify and other streaming channels under the band name Slow Jane (the name taken from the Nick Drake song, “Hazey Jane”), receiving airplay on many major folk radio channels, including Mark Radcliffe’s Folk Show on BBC Radio 2.
After that, despite being asked to group together and perform at a few folk clubs, the project seemed to come to an end. Each musician had their own things to attend to. Katherine released her debut album to massive acclaim, the two Jons recorded some more Grizzly Folk music, Lukas completed a Jacob & Drinkwater album, and I also released Up the Cut.
However, one thing remained in the can – a third track, started by Katherine and I, with a bass part recorded by Lukas, which we had put together at the time of the other tracks, vaguely thinking that the project might have longer legs. It was a cover of Nick Drake’s “Fly”, recorded in 1970 for his Bryter Layter album (with the help of John Cale on viola and harpsichord). We laid down vocals, guitar and bass, but the momentum was gone. Our recording remained forgotten about until I rediscovered it in early 2021 and wondered why we had let it go.
As always, Katherine’s vocal was exquisite, sitting beautifully over a bass and guitar part that seemed to compliment each other perfectly. I began by adding percussion – simple knee slaps, handclaps and (I think) a lightly tapped bodhran – and then sent it over to Jon Nice, who added keyboards. It took months to find the right backing vocals, but Mr Nice eventually nailed it, and the song was complete.
And that’s the way it sat until this month. With everyone so busy releasing their own stuff, there seemed no obvious time to push this out, so, during a prolonged period of ill health, I mixed the track, we uploaded it to the streaming channels and set a date – Sept 23rd – just to make sure it didn’t rot away in the archives any longer.
So, that’s how it came to be. No special video. No massive fanfare. Just a lovely little recording to close out the story of Slow Jane. I hope you enjoy it.
To find out more about the artists involved…
Katherine’s website: http://www.katherinepriddy.co.uk/
Lukas’s website: https://www.lukasdrinkwater.com/
Jon Wilks’s website: https://jonwilks.online/
The Grizzly Folk on Spotify: http://bit.ly/GrizzlyFolkSpotify
Nick Drake’s website: http://www.brytermusic.com/