Hidden Gem: Kris Kristofferson The Pilgrim Chapter 33
Everyone has their favorites. Their favorite songs, their favorite artists and, for some of us, our favorite songwriters.
Looking back through the history of country music, there are certainly country music songwriting legends, people who's names may not be familiar but their songs (hit after hit after hit) certainly are.
It was, oh, about 45 years ago or so that I became a fan of, not just the song or artist, but even more so the songwriters. And so it was, back in the late 1960's/early 1970's that I was introduced to a man named Kris Kristofferson.
All these many years later Kris is an acknowledged legend, having written worldwide classic's like Johnny Cash's 'Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down', Ray Price's 'For The Good Times', Sammi Smith's 'Help Me Make It Through The Night', Janis Joplin's 'Me And Bobby McGee' (a country smash for Roger Miller) and many more.
Kris Kristofferson was the one artist that I would eagerly await a new album from, immediately putting it on the turntable and sitting back and....well, just listening. I, like many many others, would enter whatever world it was that Kris decided to take us into. I've always adired a great line in a song, that one line that would raise the hair on the back of your neck or bring a tear to your eye or maybe just make you pause and think.
For me, the difference was this: Kris didn't just have an incredible line in a song, he had incredible line after line after line! To this day I've felt that 'Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down' isn't the saddest song I've ever heard, but it is perhaps the most lonely. It captures perfectly what most of us, at one point or another, has felt. And really, isn't that what a great song is about, capturing a moment in our lives?
In 1971 Kris released what is arguably his greatest album ever 'The Silver Tongued Devil And I'. There's not one bad cut on the album, and it's perhaps highlighted by Kris' own hit 'Lovin' Her Was Easier'. But the 'hidden gem' (which isn't really hidden at all by those of us who are Kris fan's) is 'The Pilgrim Chapter 33'.
To me, this is a great example of great line after great line after...well, you know what I mean. Give this 'hidden gem' a listen and see what you think. Who knows, maybe you know (or are) this guy.