In the early 1990s, Luzmila Carpio's songs inspired the Quechua-speaking people of the Bolivian Andes to Yuyay Jap-ina - to "reclaim our knowledge" from a culture that marginalized indigenous people. These tapes, newly-restored and presented by Squirrel Thing Recordings (Molly Drake, Connie Converse), capture a vibrant celebration of a people and a language that would not be silenced.
Elizabeth Eaton Converse grew up in Laconia, New Hampshire in 1924. Described as a polymath, she attended Mt. Holyoke College, but by 1944 shedecided to leave college and, in 1949, she made her way to New York City.
Over the course of the next decade, in addition to acquiring her new moniker, "Connie" wrote and recorded songs that captured the hearts of those close to her. Some were recorded by the artist in her Greenwich Village apartment, others by friends enamored of the music. These included animatorGene Deitch and his colleague Bill Bernal, who helped coordinate an appearance on the CBS Morning Show with Walter Cronkite.
At first listen, Connie's music seems to keep close company with the female folk artists who were her contemporaries. The knack for plaintive storytelling shares much with Peggy Seeger and Susan Reed, but Connie's music stands out from that of the American folk revival of the 1950's. Her fluid and disarmingly intelligent poetry is often filled with the kind of contradictions that reflects an urban perspective. She is at once a maverick and a romantic, intellectual and spiritual, a staunch independent and a tender, pining lover. How Sad, How Lovely captures the broad spectrum of Connie's music.
Squirrel Thing Recordings, the label behind the mysterious lost recordings of Connie Converse, is proud to announce the release of Molly Drake - a self-titled collection of never-before-heard songs recorded in the 1950's at the Drake family home, and lovingly restored by Nick Drake's engineer John Wood.
Molly Drake is a comprehensive first look at a singular and sophisticated artist, whose influence on her son's celebrated musical style is undeniable. The CD features a custom letter pressed jacket, family photos, and a biography by her daughter, Gabrielle Drake.
Much like her son, Molly Drake's music is at once beautiful, charming, dark and pensive. The easy elegance of her lyrics belies their deeper themes of regret, memory, dread, and the sublime, crystallized as only a poet can. Her performances are intimately staged in the family sitting room, and perfectly complemented by her own piano accompaniment.