Graveface Records, the label that released Jason Molina’s Autumn Bird Songs last fall, has announced a new tribute album for the late songwriter: Weary Engine Blues features covers by many friends and contemporaries of Molina, including recordings by Phil Elverum, Will Oldham, Allo Darlin’, Scout Niblett, John Vanderslice, Jeffrey Lewis, Will Johnson, Damien Jurado, Jonathan Meiburg, Herman Dune, and many others. A cover of “It’s Easier Now” performed by Mark Kozelek for the compilation is above.
As with Autumn Bird Songs, Graveface’s April release includes artwork by William Schaff, this time a piece created in the hopes it would guide Molina through recovery before it failed to reach him in time. Here’s Schaff on the story behind his Molina map, which will accompany the album as a 12.5 x 12.5 screenprint:
Back in January of this year, I received a message from a friend of Jason’s, Tara Samaha. Like so many of us were, she was concerned. She was concerned for his safety, mental and physical health after receiving an alarming email. She felt he needed a map to help him through these troubled times and then asked that I make him one. I did. Sadly we were never able to land a concrete address for Jason, where we knew he would get the map. I know that he had lost things important to him over the past few years, for various reasons, so I wanted to be sure this got into his hands, and no one else. That said — sadly — the map was never delivered to him.
Upon learning of his death, the map sat in my studio; it felt cold, and now useless. A guide made for a friend who can no longer see it.
Ryan Graveface and I thought of how, thanks to folks like you, we were able to raise a considerable amount of money for Jason’s medical bills through sales of the book, From Black Sheep Boys to Bill Collectors. We thought maybe there is still a way for this map to be useful. Not as it was originally intended, a map for one man, but as tool to commemorate this man, and continue to help his family, especially in such dark times as these. 100% of the profits from this print will be going to Jason Molina’s family. We now have a chance to give back to the family that gave us Jason, who in turn gave us all so much.
Orders for the benefit print and album can be placed here. Check out the album art, which is a piece by Molina, above and click through the image below for a large version of Schaff’s brilliant illustration: