Marty Stuart's 'Lonely Too Long' of 'Pilgrim' Reissue: Listen - Rolling Stone
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Hear Marty Stuart’s Unreleased ‘Been Lonely Too Long’ Off Upcoming ‘The Pilgrim’ Reissue

‘The Pilgrim – Deluxe Edition’ will celebrate the record’s 20th anniversary

Marty StuartMarty Stuart

Marty Stuart will celebrate the 20th anniversary of his album 'The Pilgrim' with a special deluxe edition release.


As the 1990s were coming to a close, musician Marty Stuart was newly married – to fellow Grand Ole Opry member Connie Smith – and looking back on a 10-year period that would afford him his greatest commercial success. His final record of the decade, The Pilgrim, while among his poorest selling at the time, has since become one of the country music Renaissance man’s most significant contributions to the genre, changing the trajectory of Stuart’s musical output and growing in stature since its release 20 years ago. A sweeping, yet intimate concept album relating the tragic true story of a man enmeshed in a doomed love triangle, The Pilgrim was a musical tour de force for Stuart. The LP featured guest appearances from Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Ralph Stanley, and more, providing a seamless narrative against a musical backdrop of honky-tonk and bluegrass.

In celebration of the album’s 20th anniversary, on October 18th Stuart will release the LP for the first time on vinyl in a deluxe edition, which will also include a bonus CD featuring 10 previously unreleased tracks featuring Earl Scruggs, Uncle Josh Graves, Ralph Stanley, and Emmylou Harris.

Among the unreleased tracks is a demo recording of “Been Lonely Too Long,” a simmering blues-rock tune featuring a host of veteran musicians backing Stuart, including Richard Bennett, Harry Stinson, Glenn Worf, Barry Beckett, Terri Wilson, and Mick Conley. “I’m like a bottle that’s broken, a wheel that won’t turn/ I still got the fire but it don’t burn, baby, without you,” the singer laments. The song’s determined tone echoes the opportunity for reevaluation that comes with the release of this now-enhanced reissue of an acclaimed, yet underappreciated recording project.

“Going into my archives to search out Pilgrim-related material for this release was like reaching into a dusty old treasure chest,” Stuart tells Rolling Stone Country. “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 with Earl Scruggs, Johnny Cash, Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, Emmylou Harris, Connie Smith, and Uncle Josh Graves that I made while they were doing their parts on The Pilgrim. Upon listening, those recordings stand as cherished, sacred documents of American roots music that have waited nobly in the shadows for their invitation onto the world stage of the 21st century. So many life lessons were offered in th 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.”

Stuart, who is a key contributor to Ken Burns’ upcoming PBS film, Country Music, premiering Sunday, September 15th, will stage the first of his three artist-in-residence performances at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Wednesday, September 11th, with a show dedicated to the rerelease of The Pilgrim. Subsequent shows on September 18th and 25th are expected to feature several special guest performers.

The Pilgrim Track Listing

Vinyl No. 1 Side A

  1. “Intro” (Marty Stuart/The Pilgrim)
  2. “Sometimes the Pleasure’s Worth the Pain”
  3. “The Pilgrim (Act I)”
  4. “Harlan County”
  5. “Reasons”

Vinyl No. 1 Side B

  1. “Love Can Go To…”
  2. “Red, Red Wine and Cheatin’ Songs”
  3. “Truck Stop”
  4. “Hobo’s Prayer”
  5. “Goin’ Nowhere Fast”

Vinyl No. 2 Side A

  1. “The Observations of a Crow”
  2. Intermission
  3. “The Greatest Love of All Time”
  4. “The Greatest Love of All Time (Reprise)”
  5. “Draggin’ Around These Chains of Love”

Vinyl No. 2 Side B

  1. “The Pilgrim (Act II)”
  2. “Redemption”
  3. “The Pilgrim (Act III)”
  4. “Outro” (Marty Stuart/The Pilgrim)
  5. “Mr. John Henry, Steel Driving Man”

Bonus CD Track Listing

  1. “The Pilgrim (Act IV)” with Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Connie Smith, Emmylou Harris, and Marty Stuart (Unreleased Alternate Take)
  2. “That’ll Be All Right With Me” with the Rock & Roll Cowboys (Unreleased)
  3. “Been Lonely Too Long” (Unreleased Pilgrim project demo)
  4. “I Think We’re In Texas” with Manuel and Emmylou Harris (Unreleased)
  5. “Shout Little Lulie” with Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Marty Stuart (Unreleased)
  6. “Call and Response” with Uncle Josh Graves and Marty Stuart (Unreleased)
  7. “Evelina” with Uncle Josh Graves and Marty Stuart (Unreleased)
  8. “Tennessee Wagoner” with Earl Scruggs and Stuart Duncan (Unreleased)
  9. “Even Trains Have to Cry” with Fabulous Superlatives (Unreleased Pilgrim Project Demo)
  10. “The Vanishing” with Mick Conley (Unreleased Pilgrim Project Demo)

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