Chord Chart for Pilgrim

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Chord Chart for Pilgrim

I've had some requests for chord charts for the new record, so I figured I would post a couple of the more difficult tunes for those of you that want to try your hand on them on your piano or guitar. Feel free to use these and share them, and even sing the songs in public if you'd like! 

I'll start with the song "Pilgrim," since that one was specifically requested by my friend Brad. It sounds really complicated, but it's really not. It's really just old school barre chords, which is what gives it that kind of Johnny Cash-esque sound. So your main fingerings for this are going to be your standard F barre chord, which is an E chord barred up one fret with your pointer finger. The A minor chord is also standard. No added 7's or anything fancy. Your B flat chord will be a standard Bb barre chord, but minus the pinky finger on the B string. So it's not a true Bb- it's really a Bb add9 chord, or what you probably know as an A2 barred up one fret. And then Gm will also be a standard Gm barre chord, or Em barred up 3 frets. Easy peasy.

Now for the weird chords in the Refrain section (I'll post a video of this later so you can see it in action):

G7/B will be a basic G chord, but without your middle finger holding down the low E string. You'll actually mute that low E and not play it for this chord. Middle or ring finger on the second fret of the A string, pinky on the third fret of the B string, and pointer finger on the first fret of the high E string. This sets you up to slide right to the C chord, which is really a Cadd9 chord, the incredibly typical "worship C" chord that you see every worship leader everywhere play: middle finger on third fret of the A string, mute the low E and D strings, ring finger in the same spot as the last chord- third fret of the B string, and pinky on the third fret of the high E string. For the C#dim, don't overthink it. All you really need to do is either slide your middle finger up another fret to the fourth fret of the A string, or reach your pinky up and grab that fourth fret, whichever is easier for you. The idea is that the bass note walks all the way up by half steps from B to C to C# to D. 

The D minor chord will probably be the most unfamiliar chord, since it's a bit strange and not widely used. For this chord, you will once again mute or not play the low E string, your pointer will go on the fifth fret now of the A string, you'll let that D string just ring out, your middle finger will hold down the fifth fret of the G string, and your ring or pinky will grab the sixth fret of the B string. Let the high E string ring. It's a really cool sound and haunting take on a D minor chord, but it's more accurately a Dm7sus4, if you want to get all nerdy about it. Then walk it back down from the Dm7sus4 to the C, back to the G7/B and finish out the Refrain. 

That's all the chords in the song. Happy noodling! 

 

Pilgrim
_____________________________

Intro: ||:  F / / /  | Am  / / /  | Bb / / / | Gm / / /  :|| 

Verse 1
  F    
Life rushes past you, dear
Am                                                       Bb
Wind sweeps your hair and then it’s gone
                Gm       
Then it’s gone
F
You’re like a Whippoorwill
Am                                   Bb
So content to sing your song
                            Dm7
While life rushes on

Refrain
G7/B         C      C#dim     Dm7   CG7/B

I’ll be the first to say you don’t belong
     Bb                   Gm                    F   [2nd time to Bridge]
But I wish I could be more like you

 Verse 2
We’ve got a system here
We’ve built a life in all we own
We’ve made us homes
Seems you’re just passing through
Like you know something we don’t know
But you’re all alone

Refrain
G7/B            C     C#dim  Dm7  C     G7/B

   I’ll be the last to admit   I    was   wrong
      Bb                  Gm                Dm7        F         Am          C
But I wish I could be more like you

Bridge (2x)
Dm7
 
You don’t belong here
F                                    Am                  C
You don’t belong here

Verse 2
Come join the circus, dear
Come join the endless song and dance
And this life of chance
You know we loathe you, dear
Your fire has pulled us from our trance
And caught us fast

Refrain
 G7/B                     C           C#dim            Dm7  C   G7/B

Hope’s calling through the night, “you’re not   too  far”
Bb                    Gm               Dm7        F         Am      C
I wish I could find my way home

Bridge (2x)
All I ever wanted was to be free
All I ever wanted was to be me

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Story Time

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Story Time

I (Joel) am a storyteller by nature. My first loves musically as a kid were storyteller-artists like Wayne Watson, Mark Schultz, and Steven Curtis Chapman, my favorite books stories of adventures and heroes in lands far away, fantasies like Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and allegories like The Pilgrim's Progress and Dekker's Circle Trilogy. I've always enjoyed writing stories into my songs, albeit often in a different way than my early mentors. I like telling stories through song in such a way that they keep some mystery in them, a sort of transcendence a bit like Christ's parables that keeps the listener guessing, burying hidden treasures for those that want to listen deeply... and for those that don't- well then, I've given them some damn good poetry and melodies to be stuck in their heads, and that's fine too.  

Such was the case with the first song I wrote for this album, Pilgrim. Dani and I were leading a summer mission trip outside of Tijuana, Mexico, in July of 2010. I had absolutely no thoughts of this project at the time. We had just wrapped up tracking a worship album with some friends of ours (you can still find it on iTunes under Christ In Me: The Annual) where we wrote and recorded some of our own original worship tunes. I don't know what we thought we would do next musically, but Pilgrim changed everything. I'll admit... I was inspired by a song playing on the speakers, something by The Almost, I think, though I have no idea what song it was. All I know is I had one of those rare moments as a songwriter when a lyric and melody just falls into your lap/brain, vaguely inspired by something floating by on the wind, and suddenly a song is born... in this case, an entire concept and my life's work for the next 6 years. I wrote the first verse in probably 5 minutes, but I had no idea what it was about.

By the time I got about halfway through the second verse, the scene was set- I knew what it was about- it was a scene from smack dab in the middle of Pilgrim's Progress (a book I hadn't read in years), when Christian and Faithful show up in the pit of vile debauchery known to Bunyan as Vanity Fair, looking and feeling totally out of place, offending everyone by their foreign ways, guileless speech, and refusal to participate in the raunch and revelry. The song is written from the perspective of Hopeful, one of the residents of Vanity Fair, who is moved by the witness of Faithful, and ends up joining Christian on the journey after Faithful is put to death at the Fair. Hopeful is my favorite character in the book, and I love the perspective this song brings. It's one of those like I described earlier- a great melody and poetry for someone who just wants to jam to a good folky-Americana tune, but rich with deeper meaning if you're looking for it. The whole song was finished in about 20 minutes, and I don't think I've changed one thing about it since that original version written in the mountains of Mexico in 2010. 

It wasn't long after I wrote Pilgrim that it occurred to me to write an entire album around a Pilgrim's Progress concept. Some of the songs were very intentionally written specifically for the album (like City of Destruction), others were just songs I had written that seemed to fit the theme well (like Finally Home and The Medicine). The final additions were written just last year, after we had already finished (so we thought) the entire concept- Apollyon and Despair. If you were at the very first show when we did the whole album top to bottom in Spring of 2015 at Dosey Doe in Conroe (we had a friend from Ireland narrate the whole thing), that was the debut of those two songs. I had just written them that week. You might recall that Dani didn't sing them with me... because she didn't know them- they were fresh off the press!

So after Pilgrim happened, the rest of the songs slowly began to fall into place. Finally Home has a special place in my heart- it's the only song on the album written before Pilgrim. Though I didn't write it for the record particularly, it seemed to be the perfect ending to the concept, capturing so beautifully the moment when Christian and Hopeful finally enter the gates of the City. When we perform the album live, we always tag Finally Home with an a capella rendition of the Doxology ("Praise God from whom all blessings flow"). I wrote Finally Home after being floored by Phil Wickham's album Heaven and Earth, freshly awakened to the reality of the hope of heaven. I've personally experienced a lot of loss in my young 28 years, the most gutting of which was my dad when I was 18, at the time of the writing of that song only 4 years past. Finally Home was really my first song trying to wrestle with and process that reality, and the final chorus in particular is probably my favorite moment on the whole album- it's everything I hope and long for and desire in the depths of my soul- the day when I get to see Jesus, when everything is made right at long last, when I get to see my dad again, both of us healed and whole and perfectly redeemed from all our earthly troubles and dysfunctions... the day when even death will die. 

You might notice a few little inside jokes in that song, if you're really observant and a bit of a gospel music buff. There's a lyrical nod to Glen Campbell and another to Elvis Presley in the chorus. See if you can find them! 

Like I said, the rest of the songs kind of fell into place as we went along. The Gate and City of Destruction happened when Derek and Tessa Harvey decided to join forces with us to create The World In Lights and really get this thing off the ground. It was all just a dream until they got behind us, really. After a bit of shopping, we settled on using our friend Daryl Youngblood of Houston's DuoTone Studios to do the engineering, mixing, and mastering, and we have been super blessed by his help and friendship through this process. He did all the work on the first leg of the album, the Pilgrim EP, which we released as our "Hail Mary" pass, just in case we never were able to record the much bigger (and more expensive!) 14-song concept record. We actually originally had 17 or 18 songs and whittled it down from there!

We took about 2 years to get the EP done with Daryl, because, you know... life. Living 10 minutes from your studio and not having a lot of money has the tendency to make one very lazy. Plus, Derek and I were both full time staff at our church, so we had a lot going on in life, and we honestly didn't have a huge initiative to finish the album in a timely manner. Funny how scarcity drives creativity, though... it wasn't until Derek and Tessa moved away to Colorado and Dani and I found ourselves unemployed and in the poorest year of our lives that we decided to pull the trigger on this massive project that became known as Letter From A Bedford Jail. But that's another story for another time.  

Thanks for caring enough about this project to read this far! More to come...

-Joel

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Finally Home!

Friends and neighbors, boys and girls...

We are beyond excited to announce that our labor of love, several years in the making now, is finally available for sale everywhere! The hard copies are shipping as we speak, and once we get them in hand we can begin sending them out to our Kickstarter supporters! But for now, enjoy the album on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, or your favorite digital music outlet. Of course, we appreciate an actual purchase of the album- it creates much more substantial income than simply streaming us- but do what you can, and however you enjoy the record, do it with great delight and don't forget to tell your friends about it! Word of mouth is still the best way to build a following. 

This website will be the info spot for the album. When you get the CD or vinyl copy in hand, there won't be a lyric sleeve inside of it. Instead, follow along with the lyrics and lots of other goodies here on the album page of our website! We'll have an abridged version of the story between the song lyrics, in case you haven't read The Pilgrim's Progress lately, and some nitty gritty details from the project, for those of you who dig such things. We had such a blast with this entire process, and boy, was it a crazy process, so we'd love to give you a "behind the scenes" look at everything that went into this thing. So stay tuned, and talk talk talk about it! #BedfordJail

See you on the road!

-Joel and Dani

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Letter From a Bedford Jail UPDATE

Our newest album is coming together! As some of you know, we have been working hard for the last 5 years on this project and we are happy to say it is in the final stages of mixing and set to be released in the next month or so. We are unsure of the exact date, but we will keep you posted. We recorded the bulk of the instruments and vocals back in the summer and have been putting on the finishing touches. This past month we re-recorded the EP vocals to make them consistent with the current project. We are very pleased with how they sound! We are working with various people to add transitions (to make everything flow continuously) as well as mixing and mastering. We are trying not to rush, so that everything sounds as good as it can be. Thank you to everyone who has invested in us and supported us through this season. Thank you to those who have pushed us to complete this project! We are very excited to share this with you! You will not be disappointed.

 

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Studio

The World In Lights IN THE STUDIO

These past few weeks have been a blur to say the least. We traveled from Houston to Birmingham, AL where we had the opportunity to record the majority of our full length record "Letter from A Bedford Jail" which is the extended version of our EP "Pilgrim". We were up there for close to 8 days laying down tracks for about 10 songs, which if you are in the industry at all you know is quite the ambitious endeavor as far as time is concerned. At one point (Mon-Thurs) it felt like just one 96 hour day. We recorded in two different spaces. First, we spent the first 2 days laying down drum and bass and piano tracks at the Church of Brook Hills with our amazing engineer Landon Robertson.  We were blown away by the quality of his work as well as the inspiring setup. It definitely made for an inspiring and creative environment. We used all real instruments which adds to the organic sound of this record. The grand piano and organ had no room for error while recording and it is so beautiful.

           

 

 

 

 

We spent Sunday resting with our family and then hit the ground running on Monday in the basement of a home studio where we basically lived for the next 5 days. I am pretty sure we saw sunlight once or twice during that time. We laid down as many instruments as we could before hitting vocals on Tuesday and once we started those it became a 96 hour day... Not only did we have main vocals to tackle, but choirs and choirs of backgrounds. We got some reprieve and a breath of fresh air when we decided to take one of the minute long songs and be extremely creative with it. Once we hit that stride of creativity, it set the tone for the rest of the week as well as the style and speed of the rest of the album. It helped us find our niche, our sound, and established the direction we are heading with future projects.

The last 2 days in the home studio we hit vocals hard! We had not only main vocals to get finished but we had backgrounds and choir vocals to add as well. We were exhausted, but excited and really got a lot done. We still have transitions to work though, finishing touches and ear candy to add, but the bulk of "Letter from a Bedford Jail" is finished. We are still waiting on funding, so we can complete this project and hopefully release in January. As we move forward please keep us in your prayers and also consider donating to our kickstarter campaign to help us share this project with the world. We appreciate the support.

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TWIL Spring Tour VLOG 4 [Minnesota-Indiana]

We got the unique opportunity to spend some time with the students at Bethany College of Missions and teach a School of Worship Symposium. We got to share our heart and life experience and training with them and just laugh and talk about where they are at and prospects for where they want to be. It was a refreshing time. After spending time with some dear old friends we headed off to Fort Wayne, Indiana where we played a house show. Those are my favorite because we get to debut new music and get honest feedback as to what works and what people like. On sunday we played at a church and then headed over to Detroit :)

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TWIL Spring Tour VLOG 3 [Kentucky-Iowa]

This week we headed to Kentucky and spent time at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where Joel attended a campus preview day and then we headed off to Iowa where we played 3 shows in 2 days! We played a house Show in Stuart, IA and the next morning played a service at a church. We headed 2 hours north to Fort Dodge, IA where we played a concert at Fountain of Life Church and then ate some pie and drove 3 hours (at midnight) to Minnesota. So that is that!

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TWIL Spring Tour VLOG 2 -Nashville

While in Nashville, we got to spend time with some dear friends as well as some new faces. We met with Derek Webb at Pinewood Social (Which is a Coffee Shop, Restaurant, Bar, Bowling Alley, Swimming.... place) If you are ever in the area it is definitely a place you should check out! We learned a lot about the ins and outs of the music industry through meetings with Derek, Andrew Osenga (Capitol Records) and Billy Smiley. We visited Dark Horse Studios in Franklin, TN (The atmosphere was so peaceful I don't know who wouldn't want to record there!) We played a small show on the porch at Rocketown and enjoyed every minute of our time in Nashville. Thank you to all who came out to support our music!

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TWIL Spring Tour VLOG 1- Texas and Alabama

We have embarked on a month[ish] long excursion in anticipation of our PILGRIM | EP album release. So far it has been both exhausting and amazing! We are excited to share snippets of our journey with you through videos and updates!

Thank you for supporting us on this journey!

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PILGRIM: THE EP

We are wrapping up our debut album, Pilgrim: The EP, a concept album based on John Bunyan's classic story The Pilgrim's Progress. This 4-track record is the first of 3 mini records, which together will composite the sum of the entire album. We released our first music video on Christmas Day 2014, Baby Boy, and are currently putting the finishing touches on our second music video for the title track, Pilgrim, available on YouTube in March, and iTunes in April! Help us by liking and sharing our videos and social media links this spring, and come out and see a show coming to a city near you!

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