I think this is a beautifully written album. The Pilgrim is a concept, story album written and performed by Nate Currin. The album is based lyrically on the book The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, first published in 1678 in England. Bunyan’s work is regarded as one of the great works of English literature, and outside of the Bible, is the number one book in print of all time.
Despite being based on a religious work, Nate Currin’s The Pilgrim is not intended as strictly a Christian album. Rather, it is both a celebration of the literary greatness of a book written in the 17th century and one present day storyteller’s connection to it. Song titles off The Pilgrim reflect Currin’s interpretation of characters, concepts and places depicted in the book, including “Vanity Fair” (a city that hosts a yearlong fair and through which the King’s Highway passes), “A Beautiful House” (the rest stop for pilgrims to the Celestial City), and “The Interpreter” (the Holy Spirit who teaches travelers through pictures and dioramas how to live the Christian life). “What I really wanted to do was weave my own life into it Bunyan’s story,” says Currin. “It’s about a man – in some cases me – on a journey and all of the struggles he endures, the hardships he faces, the people he meets, all the various things that happen along the way.”
“I started The Pilgrim in 2007 with much zeal and determination, but I found it to be more difficult and challenging than I had anticipated,” says Currin. After writing a couple of songs in the first year, he shelved the project. He even released his 2011 album, Goodnight California, in the interim and toured throughout the U.S. playing over 300 shows and selling over 4,000 albums. “After that I started getting signs that I needed to do this, I needed to finish it.” Currin called upon Emmy-nominated producer Simon Illa and together they co-produced The Pilgrim at Domus Sound in Athens, GA.
“We weren’t seeking perfection,” says co-producer Simon Illa. “We’re seeking real, raw music and emotion. Real is better. Real struggle, triumph and everything in between.” Between the musicians on the album and the vibe in the studio, the recording process of The Pilgrim was heavily based in Currin’s Southern roots. The album features Nate Currin (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Simon Peek (guitar, slide), Andy Appling (drums), Walter Ray Hinton (fiddle, banjo, mandolin), Mike Cowan (piano, organ), Jeffrey Hunt (percussion), Alex Page (violin, cello, viola), Hill Roberts (upright bass), Simon Illa (keys, toy piano, percussion), and Callie Cryar of The Vespers (vocals). TW Walsh, former member of Pedro the Lion, mastered The Pilgrim.
Download the album on Noisetrade. Tip him if you can.