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The Pilgrim: A Celebration of Kris Kristofferson

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Released to mark the 70th birthday of legendary songwriter Kris Kristofferson, The Pilgrim brings together artists from various disciplines to reprise some classics as well as lesser-known songs. Marta Gomez gives "The Circle" an evocative Spanish tinge; Brian McKnight renders "Me and Bobby McGee" as a sultry hip-hop come-on; Marshall Chapman gives "Jesus Was a Capricorn" a grinding, down-home southern soul twist; Russell Crowe (yes, that Russell Crowe) & the Ordinary Fear of God give the tragic story-song "Darby's Castle" a muted, Irish-inflected grandeur. But it's the artists with personal connections to Kristofferson who steal the show. On "The Silver Tongued ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Released to mark the 70th birthday of legendary songwriter Kris Kristofferson, The Pilgrim brings together artists from various disciplines to reprise some classics as well as lesser-known songs. Marta Gomez gives "The Circle" an evocative Spanish tinge; Brian McKnight renders "Me and Bobby McGee" as a sultry hip-hop come-on; Marshall Chapman gives "Jesus Was a Capricorn" a grinding, down-home southern soul twist; Russell Crowe (yes, that Russell Crowe) & the Ordinary Fear of God give the tragic story-song "Darby's Castle" a muted, Irish-inflected grandeur. But it's the artists with personal connections to Kristofferson who steal the show. On "The Silver Tongued Devil & I," Shooter Jennings offers a bluesy, boozy honky-tonk lament before busting into an attitudinal, sputtering strut; Rosanne Cash is both ethereal and sensuous in a shimmering rendition of "Lovin' Him Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again)"; Rodney Crowell takes "Come Sundown" straight to the honky-tonk dance floor, where a steel guitar, tinkling piano, and twangy lead guitar set the pace; and Willie Nelson gives "The Legend" ("Were we better men / than we'd ever been") a stately south-of-the border flavor to a tale of a legendary outsider who gets away with it all. Emmylou Harris, Jessi Colter, and Gretchen Wilson all acquit themselves admirably as well, and Kris himself shows up in a spoken intro preceding Harris's dramatic "The Pilgrim: Chapter 33" and tenderly works his way through a stark 1970 demo of "Please Don't Tell Me how the Story Ends." Surely, that's yet a long ways away.
All Music Guide - Jeff Tamarkin
The success of a tribute album is fully dependent on the contributors' ability to put their egos aside and kneel at the altar of the artist being feted. The crew honoring Kris Kristofferson here had no trouble doing that. Though some of the featured artists -- particularly Rosanne Cash, Shooter Jennings, Jessi Colter, and, of course, Willie Nelson -- were family and friends while others were admirers from afar, there's a palpable sense of love and respect permeating this cozy and homey 70th birthday party. Kristofferson, already in his thirties when Nashville took notice of him in the late '60s and early '70s, was a prime mover among the "outlaw" songwriters and singers who turned the country music business on its ear, bringing to it a rock & roll attitude marked by a stark new realism. His songs have been covered by many over the years, and the most successful interpretations have been those that drilled to the core and found the honesty and originality the writer gave them without slavishly aping the original. Only a few of the performers on this American Roots label collection, the follow-up to a similar set spotlighting Stephen Foster, stray far from Kristofferson's blueprints, but all understand who they're dealing with and what he's about. Those tracks that take the most liberty -- Patty Griffin and Charanga Cakewalk's sprinkling of Latin and electronica touches on "Sandinista"; Brian McKnight's spare, soulful "Me and Bobby McGee"; Rodney Crowell's honky tonkin' "Come Sundown" -- are among the most satisfying. Marshall Chapman's bluesy, boozy take on "Jesus Was a Capricorn" imbues one of Kristofferson's cornerstone compositions with the proper balance of humor and profundity, and the pairing of Lloyd Cole and Jill Sobule on "For the Good Times," with its soft harmonies and longing tenderness, is inspired. Gretchen Wilson doesn't make "Sunday Morning Coming Down" her own by any means, but she conveys the song's vulnerability. Lastly, Kristofferson himself tosses in a circa-1970 demo recording of "Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends" -- a nice touch, but somewhat superfluous. The album's major clunker? Not too surprisingly it's Russell Crowe -- yes, that Russell Crowe -- crooning his way through "Darby's Castle" competently if overdramatically. But even if the irascible actor is far from the best singer on the album, he too lets it be known that he's in awe of its subject.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/11/2006
  • Label: Thirty Tigers
  • UPC: 827912038934
  • Catalog Number: 1203893

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kris Kristofferson Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Spoken Word
Sam Bush Mandolin, Background Vocals
Rosanne Cash Vocals
Rodney Crowell Vocals
Emmylou Harris Guitar, Vocals
Willie Nelson Guitar, Vocals
Kelly Willis Vocals
Lloyd Cole Keyboards, Vocals
Marshall Chapman Electric Guitar, Vocals
Jill Sobule Guitar, Vocals
Lloyd Green Steel Guitar
Phil Madeira Keyboards
Bobby Wood Electric Piano
Brian McKnight Vocals
Jessi Colter Vocals
Mickey Raphael Harmonica
Todd Snider Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Larry Atamanuik Drums
Eddie Bayers Drums
Shawn Camp Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals
J.T. Corenflos Electric Guitar, Guitar (12 String Electric)
Stuart Duncan Mandolin
Murray Foster Bass
Patty Griffin Guitar, Vocals
John Hobbs Keyboards
Byron House Upright Bass, Standup Bass
Rob Ickes Dobro
Zev Katz Bass
John Leventhal Guitar, Piano, Hammond Organ
Gary Morse Dobro, Steel Guitar
Dave Pomeroy Upright Bass
Michael Rhodes Bass
Bruce Robison Vocals
David Roe Upright Bass
Randy Scruggs Acoustic Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Tommy Spurlock Pedal Steel Guitar
Chip Dolan Keyboards
Keith Gattis Guitar
Jon Randall Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals, Vocal Harmony
RIck DePofi Percussion
Ray Riendeau Bass
Richard Pagano Drums
Conrad Choucroun Drums
Alan Doyle Guitar, Background Vocals
Russell Crowe Vocals
Stewart Kirwan Flugelhorn, Background Vocals
Julio Santillan Guitar
Ted Kamp Bass, Background Vocals
Gretchen Wilson Vocals
Eric McConnell Bass
Marta Gomez Vocals
Shooter Jennings Organ, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Leroy Powell Dobro, Harmonica, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals, Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Stuart Hunter Piano
Peter Cooper Vocal Harmony
Technical Credits
Kris Kristofferson Composer, Introduction
Lloyd Cole Programming, Producer, Engineer
Jill Sobule Producer
Brian McKnight Producer, Instrumentation
Todd Snider Producer
Stephen Bruton Composer
Shawn Camp Producer
Steve Fishell Producer
Fred Foster Composer
John Leventhal Producer, Engineer
Steve Marcantonio Engineer
Buddy Miller Engineer
Michael Ramos Producer, Engineer
Ron Reynolds Engineer
Bruce Robison Producer
Randy Scruggs Producer, Engineer
Dave Sinko Mastering
Tony Wall Engineer
RIck DePofi Engineer
Don Bartley Mastering
Kevin Szymanski Engineer
C. Wood Engineer
Richard Barrow Engineer
Alan Doyle Producer
Tamara Saviano Liner Notes, Executive Producer
Julio Santillan Producer, Engineer
Tom Frouge Executive Producer
Gretchen Wilson Producer
Eric McConnell Producer
Marta Gomez Producer
Peter Cooper Liner Notes
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