She’s known as the “lesbian Johnny Cash” and now audiences can catch a glimpse into the Canadian folk musician’s life through a documentary getting to know the icon that is Ferron.
Her latest release, Thunder and Lighten-ing, is a collaborative project that grew from a seed planted around 2010 when after years spent playing the same circuits, and collaborating in concert together, Bitch (an indie-electro violinist/song-writer) along with visual/video-artist Billie Jo Cavallaro, began to talk about making a documentary about the artist, featuring tracks from her previous album Boulder (produced by Bitch and recorded intimately in Ferron’s house – floor creaks and all) and live shows that Bitch and Ferron have done together over the years.
They launched a Kickstarter, found a few Executive Producers, and the rest, as they say, is herstory.
Thunder & Lighten-ing gives us a glimpse into the the mind and life of the writer and recording artist unlike any we’ve ever seen.
Presented in one half DVD documentary, and one-half re-imagined songs, it is not the sort of thing to have on passively in the background, but rather played at a time where you’re free to sit and absorb, as though you’re sneaking away to spend a few hours with the artist herself.
Thunder is not your average documentary. Anchored on an unlikely inter-generational friendship between the two musicians Ferron and Bitch–it doesn’t give us a timeline approach, nor does it tell Ferron’s life story. Instead, Cavallaro and Bitch capture a ‘window into the artist’—where we are affected on a subconscious level. It explores ideas of legacy vs. invisibility and the artist vs. the world.
Lighten-ing is Bitch’s sonic follow-up to Boulder (and Ferron’s 15th release), a musical accompaniment to the documentary. To make it, Bitch brought in the manuscript to one of Ferron’s poetry books, The (H)unger Poems, and got her to turn some of the lyrics into songs. With Bitch’s bass-line to accompany her, they made “The Pledge” this way, and, of course, “The (H)unger Poems.” The track “Army of You” stands out as being the first track to ever be written by Bitch and Ferron together.
Showcasing the 30 year career that has led Ferron to become the icon she is, Thunder & Lighten-ing was made available to the donators of the Kickstarter campaign that helped make it possible on August 27, 2013, and is now ready for the rest of the world to experience it via official release on Short Story Records