I Am A Pilgrim: Doc Watson at 100 Out Today | Shore Fire Media

28 April, 2023Print

I Am A Pilgrim: Doc Watson at 100 Out Today

I Am A Pilgrim: Doc Watson at 100 Out Today

Loving Tribute Album Celebrates Doc Watson’s Legacy + Centennial Featuring Dolly Parton, Steve Earle, Marc Ribot, Jerry Douglas, Jeff Parker, Matthew Stevens, Yasmin Williams, Rosanne Cash and More

Listen HERE

“Honors Watson’s legacy with skill and grace” - No Depression

“Testifies to Watson’s enduring musical legacy by letting the music fill the air and breathing new life into songs long associated with, or written by, Doc Watson” - Folk Alley

April 28, 2023 - A new tribute album that celebrates the deep influence and legacy of the legendary North Carolina folk musician, Doc Watson is out today. Titled I Am A Pilgrim: Doc Watson at 100, the album includes an impressive and diverse lineup of artists including Dolly Parton, Rosanne Cash, John Leventhal, Jeff Parker, Matthew Stevens, Valerie June, Bill Frisell, Nora Brown, Jerry Douglas, Chris Eldridge, Steve Earle, Corey Harris, Jack Lawrence, Lionel Loueke, Ariel Posen, Marc Ribot and Yasmin Williams.  The album release coincides with MerleFest, taking place this weekend in North Carolina, which Watson founded to honor the memory of his son, Merle, as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. 

I Am A Pilgrim pays homage to Doc Watson's lasting legacy and influence on American music, showcasing the enduring power and relevance of Doc Watson's music, a century after his birth, and has been spotlighted by NPR’s Fresh Air, WNYC, Rolling StoneSPINStereogumGarden & GunNo Depression, a Folk Alley feature, and more.  

Considered one of modern music's most influential figures, the album features new renditions of some of Watson’s most beloved recordings from his expansive catalog. It highlights Watson’s talent and charisma while featuring contributions from Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Inductees, numerous GRAMMY Award winners, and several NPR Tiny Desk alumni - interpreting his work through a prismatic lens of folk, bluegrass, blues, jazz, experimental and rock music. Given Watson’s seismic impact on guitar playing, it’s no surprise that so many guitar playing styles are represented here, from the finger tapping style of Yasmin Williams (“Doc’s Guitar,” a Watson original) to the slide guitar of Ariel Posen (“Will The Circle Be Unbroken”) and the harmonics featured on Lionel Loueke’s version of “Reuben’s Train.” Nora Brown, a teenager turning heads with her take on old time music, contributes a moving rendition of the hymn “Am I Born To Die.” The album concludes with “Your Lone Journey,” a song that Watson penned while mourning his son, and lovingly interpreted here by Bill Frisell.

Previously shared songs from the album include Valerie June and Bill Frisell’s “Handsome Molly,” Jeff Parker and Matthew Stevens' take on "Alberta," Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal’s “I Am A Pilgrim,” and Dolly Parton’s version of “The Last Thing On My Mind,” a song that Parton recorded in 1967 and performed by Parton and Watson at Merlefest together in 2001. 

Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson earned 7 GRAMMY Awards and 23 nominations including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. He received the National Medal of Arts in 1997 from President Clinton and has been the subject of multiple books, boxed sets and compilation albums. He was born in Deep Gap, North Carolina on March 3, 1923, grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry, Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family and learned guitar at a young age. Watson was an integral part of the early 1960s folk revival and became known as one of the greatest flatpicking guitarists of all time, a style that influenced the playing of countless guitarists. Watson, who lost his eyesight at a young age, was also considered a master of the banjo. He released nearly 30 albums spanning 50 years and collaborated with Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Del McCoury, Taj Mahal, Mississippi John Hurt, David Grisman and many others. 

His work embraced the regional music of North Carolina and he helped to change what people thought about mountain music through his repertoire of traditional and folk recordings. Watson also presided over MerleFest from its inception in 1988, and has become one of the premiere music festivals in the country.

Vinyl will start shipping on June 20 and can be ordered here: https://iamapilgrim.bandcamp.com/album/i-am-a-pilgrim-doc-watson-at-100

I Am A Pilgrim: Doc Watson at 100 Track List:

Shady Grove - Jerry Douglas

The Last Thing On My Mind - Dolly Parton

Am I Born To Die - Nora Brown

Alberta - Jeff Parker & Matthew Stevens

Make Me A Pallet - Steve Earle

I Am A Pilgrim - Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal

Florida Blues - Jack Lawrence

How Long Blues - Corey Harris

Will The Circle Be Unbroken - Ariel Posen

Handsome Molly - Valerie June & Bill Frisell 

Doc's Guitar - Yasmin Williams

Little Sadie - Chris Eldridge

Reuben's Train - Lionel Loueke

The Lost Soul - Marc Ribot

Your Lone Journey - Bill Frisell

For more information please contact:

Chris Taillie (ctaillie@shorefire.com)

Erica Goldish (egoldish@shorefire.com)