As a tribute to the recently deceased Jason Molina — the singer-songwriter who recorded under his own name, as well as the Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. monikers — Graveface Records is putting together a benefit compilation to help Molina's family pay medical and funeral costs. The collection, titled Weary Engine Blues, will feature artists such as Mark Kozelek, Will Oldham, Phil Elverum, and Scout Niblettt.
Other artists expected to contribute include Allo Darlin', John Vanderslice, Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg, Will Johnson, the Wave Pictures, Hospital Ships, Haunt the House, and many more. The compilation shares its title with the artwork that doubles as the album's cover. According to Graveface, Weary Engine Blues will be released on April 23 and will come with a screenprint that artist William Schaff intended to give Molina as a gift.
"Back in January of this year, I received a message from a friend of Jason's, Tara Samaha," Schaff said in a statement. "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."
Molina died of natural causes on March 16. All of the profits from the benefit compilation and screenprint will go directly towards Molina's family.
"Very rarely do you run into a star that burns as brightly as Jason," Molina's brother, Aaron, said in a statement. "When he is also your brother you are truly blessed. To fans of Jason’s music we want you to know you were the center of Jason’s universe, you meant everything to him. As much as his music inspired others, he was constantly and honestly inspired by you. From the Molina family, from the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank you for the outpouring of support and send our condolences to his fans and friends."
Only 525 copies of the CD-and-print package exist. Orders can be placed at Graveface's website. The screenprint will be hand-numbered and signed by Schaff, while Weary Engine Blues will include "as many contributions as [Graveface] can jam on it."
Stream Mark Kozelek's wounded rendition of Molina's "It's Easier Now" down below, and head here to listen to Molina's entire catalog, which is temporarily streaming online.