Ring the Bell
I didn't know Jason Molina's work well before Jesse asked me if I would like to contribute to this album, but the high regard he was held in by my friend the artist William Schaff, who created artwork for albums by Molina and myself, meant that I leapt at the chance to listen to more of his songs.
I immersed myself in Molina's back catalogue and discovered one of the most personal and uncensored songwriters I've come across. How personal his songs are makes covering them difficult. I struggled to find a song I could prise from his grasp and make my own.
'Ring the Bell' was a song I kept coming back to. Like the serpent's eye in the song, it seemed to follow me around and draw me back in, into its odyssey.
'Ring the Bell', from Didn't It Rain
Performed and recorded by Sharron Kraus
Sharron Kraus is a singer of traditional folk songs, a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. As well as drawing on the folk traditions of England and Appalachia, her music is influenced by gothic literature, surrealism, myth and magick. Her songs tell intricate tales of rootless souls, dark secrets and earthly joys, the lyrics plucked as sonorously as her acoustic guitar.
She has released five solo albums, the first of which, ‘Beautiful Twisted’, was named by Rolling Stone in their Critics’ Top Albums of 2002. As well as her solo work, Sharron has recorded an album of traditional songs - ’Leaves From Off The Tree’ – with Meg Baird and Helena Espvall of Espers, written an album of songs to celebrate the seasons of the year – ‘Right Wantonly A-Mumming’ – which was recorded with some of England’s finest traditional folk singers including Jon Boden, Fay Hield and Ian Giles – as well as recording and performing as a duo – Rusalnaia – with Ex Reverie’s Gillian Chadwick, with Tara Burke (Fursaxa) as Tau Emerald and with Irish free-folk collective United Bible Studies.