Marty Stuart Releasing Book Behind Making Of His Legendary Project ‘The Pilgrim’

Marty Stuart will release a coffee table book, The Pilgrim: A Wall-to-Wall Odyssey, that details the making of his legendary album The Pilgrim. Included in The Pilgrim: A Wall-to-Wall Odyssey is a newly remastered CD of the original album, along with 10 bonus tracks that feature guest performances by Ralph StanleyEmmylou HarrisUncle Josh GravesEarl Scruggs, and Stuart’s wife, Connie Smith and a foreword by Billy Bob Thornton.

“Going into my archives to search out Pilgrim-related material for this release was like reaching into a dusty old treasure chest,” Stuart recalls. “I found songs that I’d written and forgotten, photographs I never got around to looking at, unfinished recordings from The Pilgrim sessions, and a string of archival recordings … So many life lessons were offered in the creative process of making The Pilgrim. Perhaps the toughest of them all was letting go when the record was considered unsuccessful. However, in letting go, I learned that some things do, in fact, come back around.”

A concept project, The Pilgrim was originally released in 1999 and was based on true events that transpired in Stuart’s hometown. The album represents a rediscovery of Stuart’s roots and a creative rebirth, but the hardcover book is about much more than the album, it’s about spiritual discovery, artistic integrity, and a vision that set Stuart on an enlightened path. Originally available in limited release during the 20th anniversary celebration of the album in the fall, The Pilgrim book is now available as a wide-release title via BMG.

The pages of the book feature intimate photographs of Marty making music with Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Rick Nelson, Bill Monroe, Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard, B.B. King, The Staple Singers, Tom Petty, John Lee Hooker, Willie Nelson, Keith Richards, George Jones, Dolly Parton, and others. A celebrated photographer in his own right, Stuart himself captured the truck stops, county fairs, gospel singers, backwoods circus performers, South Dakota Native American Indians, and eclectic cast of characters that he encountered on his journey to reconnect with his musical roots and forge new paths forward.

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Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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