Kris Kristofferson
"The Pilgrim: A Celebration of Kris Kristofferson"

In Celebration of Kris Kristofferson's
70th Birthday (June 22nd)...

Grammy-Winners, Legends, Friends & Fans Interpret the Poetry of an Icon/Outlaw on:
"The Pilgrim:
A Celebration of Kris Kristofferson"
Out July 10th from American Roots Publishing / New West Records

When Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster, America Roots Publishing's inaugural release, won the Best Traditional Folk Album Grammy, founder Tamara Saviano and VP Tom Frouge knew it would take something special to follow their launch project.

Thankfully, that inspiration was already in the family--Saviano's longtime client, friend and mentor Kris Kristofferson, whose songwriting--often overlooked in the fullness of his superstardom--defined the intersection of genuine poetry, human fragility and the quest for love, dignity and personal freedom.

With 18 songs spanning the breadth of Kristofferson's career - tendered by an expansive roster of artists across myriad genres (r&b's silken Brian McKnight caressing “Me & Bobby McGee,” Latina songstress Marta Gomez embracing the humanistic protest of “The Circle” and Patti Griffin with Charanga Cakewalk on an austere “Sandinista,” popfringe writers Lloyd Cole & Jill Sobule entangling “For The Good Times” and Oscar-winner Russell Crowe's heroistic turn on “Darby's Castle”), The Pilgrim offers testament to the truth, timelessness and timeliness of the former Rhodes Scholar, Country Music Hall of Famer and original Outlaw's work.

Starting with “family,” Frouge and Saviano went to those closest: Rosanne Cash (“Lovin' Him Was Easier”), Willie Nelson (“The Legend”), Jessi Colter (“The Captive”) and Shooter Jennings (“The Silver Tongued Devil & I”) - and then expanded out to include old friends like Marshall Chapman (“Jesus Was A Capircorn”), Emmylou Harris (“The Pilgrim: Chapter 33”), Texans in Rodney Crowell (“Come Sundown”) and Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis (“Help Me Make It Through The Night”) and Music Row rebels and refugees, worn for the wear but true believers in song Todd Snider (“Maybe You Heard”), Shawn Camp (“Why Me”) and Gretchen Wilson (“Sunday Morning Coming Down”).

Produced by Grammy-winner Randy Scruggs (Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. 2), who contributes the breathtaking instrumental “Smile at Me Again,” and featuring a 1970 demo from Kristofferson of “Please Don't Tell Me How The Story Ends,” along with brilliantly written extensive liner notes by The Tennessean music writer Peter Cooper, The Pilgrim is a legacy of love.

Begun as a way to maintain the artistic standards and integrity of a burgeoning organization built on principles, not profit, their sophomore release quickly blossomed into something far more personal.

Music journalists have always remarked on how Kris writes a lot about freedom, but what he's really writing about is love and life," Saviano says. "There are many people who don't know Kris as a songwriter--and to us, that's the most important part of his storied career. Hopefully with this record, it'll be obvious how much Kris changed the way we all live, love and feel about our place in the world. Like Stephen Foster before him, I believe Kris's songs are classics and generations after us will celebrate him as one of America's greatest songwriters."

"It's been so humbling to work on this project," says Frouge. "Kris Kristofferson is one of my all-time favorite songwriters but beyond that he is a person I greatly admire--a man who has always stood fast for human rights and justice, for the displaced, here and abroad, and has never flinched. Our goal for this tribute is to reflect both of these aspects. If Kris had only written 'Sunday Morning Coming Down' and 'Me & Bobby McGee' he would be canonized as one of our greatest songwriters--but his catalogue and it's varied subject matter is as expansive as his influence and his unselfish motivation to create awareness on issues with global, philosophical and emotional significance. Kristofferson is a national treasure and while he has been celebrated for his achievements, this tribute--and the artists involved-- focuses on the breadth and scope of a career and a life of honesty and integrity lived without compromise."

The Pilgrim: A Celebration of Kris Kristofferson Track Listing

1. The Pilgrim: Chapter 33 – Emmylou Harris & Friends (Sam Bush, Jon Randall, Byron House, Randy Scruggs) (3:51)
2. Maybe You Heard – Todd Snider (3:28)
3. The Circle – Marta Gómez (4:20)
4. Lovin' Him Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again) – Rosanne Cash (3:37)
5. Come Sundown – Rodney Crowell (3:15)
6. For The Good Times – Lloyd Cole & Jill Sobule (3:25)
7. Jesus Was A Capricorn – Marshall Chapman (3:51)
8. The Silver Tongued Devil – Shooter Jennings (5:08)
9. Sunday Morning Coming Down – Gretchen Wilson (6:01)
10. Sandinista – Patty Griffin & Charanga Cakewalk (4:13)
11. Darby's Castle – Russell Crowe and The Ordinary Fear of God (3:57)
12. Me And Bobby McGee – Brian McKnight (4:59)
13. Smile At Me Again (instrumental) – Randy Scruggs (2:43)
14. The Captive – Jessi Colter w/special guest Vance Haines (3:53)
15. Help Me Make It Through The Night – Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis (3:03)
16. Why Me – Shawn Camp (3:34)
17. The Legend – Willie Nelson (6:25)
Coda: Please Don't Tell Me How The Story Ends – Kris Kristofferson (demo recording, circa 1970) (3:15)

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