Sharron Kraus releases new album

Sharron Kraus is a UK-based singer, musician and songwriter whose craft defiantly recasts yet tenderly cherishes the folk traditions of England and Appalachia. Her fourth solo outing The Woody Nightshade takes an amble down a slightly different route along Sharron Kraus’ musical path. Reminiscent of the expanded instrumentation and compositional arrangements found on The Fox’s Wedding (on David Tibet/ Current 93’s Durtro/Jnana label, 2008), gone are the traditional folk tools of the trade, such as the familiar use of banjo and fiddles, in favor of drums, electric guitar and bass.  Kraus’s signature has always been her distinctive vocals, and her idiosyncratic siren sound is in top form throughout The Woody Nightshade.  The result is a much more folk-inspired album than folk-saturated, and although a feeling of claustrophobia seems to permeate the album, shining moments of serenity are present to ease the foreboding tension.

In 2002, Sharron released her debut Beautiful Twisted on the independent Camera Obscura label. Beautiful Twisted was a concentration of her influences at that point, representing her traditional folk interest and her co-existing love of cerebral gothic music like Nick Cave and the Violent Femmes. The album instantly attracted attention, and was named by Rolling Stone in their Critics’ Top Albums of 2002.      Following 2003’s winter concept album Yuletide with American psych-folk pioneers The Iditarod, Sharron released her second solo album Songs Of Love And Loss in 2004. The third album, The Fox’s Wedding,was even denser in its imagery, drawing from the natural world, literature and Sharron’s personal experience; it soared between swooping panoramas and pared down, waspish delicacy.  Collaborations have always been important to Sharron. She has performed with Irish free-folk collective United Bible Studies and alongside Trembling Bells’ Alex Neilson. Sharron has also embarked on recorded partnerships with Californian troubadour Christian Kiefer on 2006’s The Black Dove; Espers’ Meg Baird and Helena Espvall on the traditional album Leaves From Off The Tree that same year; and gathered an ensemble cast of folk singers on Right Wantonly A-Mumming in 2007 for a collection of seasonal songs. Sharron is a member of Tau Emerald, a duo with Tara Burke (better known as Fursaxa) and Rusalnaia, a partnership with Ex-Reverie’s Gillian Chadwick.