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Steve Bell – Pilgrimage Release – 150-250 words (PLACEHOLDER TITLE)

WINNIPEG— After 25 years and multiple major music awards, one of Canada’s most celebrated Christian artists, Steve Bell, is about to release his most ambitious project to date.

Part new and part commemorative, the four-disc Pilgrimage project brings together Bell’s latest effort of all-new original music, alongside discs of fan-chosen re-recordings, instrumental re-mixes, and tributes featuring cover songs done by some of Bell’s friends and colleagues in the music industry.

“The project started out as a single album of new material,” Bell says. “We then thought that because it coincided with my 25th anniversary [since the release of his 1989 album, Comfort My People], it would be fun to expand the project to be a bit of a celebration.  It was a happy accident that the title ‘Pilgrimage’ so suited the larger vision of the project.”

The collection was funded largely through Kickstarter, a website where fans and supporters contributed financially to the project, something that Bell says is extra special in celebrating what the last 25 years have meant in terms of building a musical “community.”

“My career from the start has enjoyed incredible support from the wider community.  I may get the credit… but it’s been a ‘we’ thing all along,” he says.

The project is one that Bell cites as special and in particular, celebratory of a career he feels fortunate to still be in after a quarter century.

“Twenty-five years is fun for me; I’m just surprised I’m still here,” he says with a laugh.

Pilgrimage is available from SteveBell.com, select stores, and will be available on iTunes later this fall.

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Steve Bell – Pilgrimage Release – 400 words (PLACEHOLDER TITLE)

WINNIPEG—Singer-songwriter Steve Bell is no stranger to accolades. He’s been described as “one of the most imaginative, clear-headed and theologically informed singers and songwriters you will ever hear,” by Jeremy Begbie of Duke University.

And after 25 years and multiple major music awards Bell is about to release one of his most ambitious projects to date. Part new and part commemorative, a four-disc project known collectively as Pilgrimage is set for release this September.

Originally planned as simply a single disc of new material, Bell eventually decided that the timing of Pilgrimage, some 25 years after the release of his debut solo album, Comfort My People, was cause to celebrate the career he feels fortunate to still maintain after a quarter century.

“Twenty-five years is fun for me; I’m just surprised I’m still here,” he says with a laugh.

Reflective, insightful, and unmistakably Steve Bell, the eponymous first disc of all-new music features a number of tracks that may be among the best work Bell has produced to date, though the ever-humble singer/song-writer is reluctant to give a definitive answer.

“One hopes to be getting better…I’ve had several folks tell me that certain songs on my new project are my ‘best yet.’ Who knows?” he says.

Accompanying the new album are three bonus discs. The first, entitled Unadorned, features a set of fan-chosen favourites, re-recorded to feature only Bell and his guitar, unaccompanied by the otherwise wide swath of musicians featured throughout the rest of the project.

The second, Good Company, a tribute disc featuring cover songs done by some of Bell’s friends and colleagues in the music industry, is one that Bell says he’s particularly excited for fans to hear, and just might be the “sleeper hit” of the whole project. Bell says that hearing his friends’ interpretations has led him to love his own work in ways he’s never loved it before.

“A tribute album is great because it allows people to see that one version of a song is not definitive. I think that’s a really important thing.”

Last comes Landscapes, a collection of instrumental and atmospheric remixes often featured before concerts and requested by fans.

Above all, Bell says he’s ever-grateful for the community that continues to support him after all these years.

“I owe it to my fans to do good work,” he says.

“Artists have to see themselves as public servants. And I think when they do, community will reward them. It’s not a ‘me’ thing but a ‘we’ thing.”

Pilgrimage is available from SteveBell.com, select stores, and will be available on iTunes later this fall.

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Steve Bell – Pilgrimage Release – 500-600 words (PLACEHOLDER TITLE)

WINNIPEG—Singer-songwriter Steve Bell is no stranger to accolades. He’s been described as “one of the most imaginative, clear-headed and theologically informed singers and songwriters you will ever hear,” by Jeremy Begbie of Duke University.

And after 25 years and multiple major music awards Bell is about to release his most ambitious project to date. Part new and part commemorative, a four-disc project known collectively as Pilgrimage is set for release this September.

Originally planned as simply a single disc of new material, Bell eventually decided that the timing of Pilgrimage, some 25 years after the release of his debut solo album, Comfort My People, was cause to celebrate the career he feels fortunate to still maintain after a quarter century.

“Twenty-five years is fun for me; I’m just surprised I’m still here,” he says with a laugh.

Reflective, insightful, and unmistakably Steve Bell, the eponymous first disc of all-new music features a number of tracks that may be among the best work Bell has produced to date, including the catchy, folksy, up-tempo first single “Turn it Around.” But while Bell says he’s already received a number of glowing reviews, the ever-humble singer-songwriter is reluctant to give a definitive answer as to how the new album stacks up against the rest of his much-celebrated catalogue.

“One hopes to be getting better…I’ve had several folks tell me that certain songs on my new project are my ‘best yet.’ Who knows?” he says.

As for the process of putting a full record together, Bell is confident that things have only gotten better, and doesn’t shy away from giving praise where praise is due.

“I think we’re getting better at the craft of album making. Sonically, Dave Zeglinski, who engineered, mixed and mastered the album, has done a superb job,” he says. “I hope he gets awarded for this one.”

Pilgrimage features a wide range of talented musicians, something that Bell says evokes an equally diverse variety of emotions and sentiments, all good ones.

“In terms of production, there’s a tangible ‘at easeness’ about the arrangements and playing that comes with seasoned players, and there’s a vitality and vigor that comes from the younger contributors,” he says.

Accompanying the new album are three bonus discs. The first, entitled Unadorned, features a set of fan-chosen favourites, re-recorded to feature only Bell and his guitar, unaccompanied by the otherwise wide swath of musicians featured throughout the rest of the project.

The second, Good Company, a tribute disc featuring cover songs done by some of Bell’s friends and colleagues in the music industry, is one that Bell says he’s particularly excited for fans to hear, and just might be the “sleeper hit” of the whole project. Bell says that hearing his friends’ interpretations has led him to love his own work in ways he’s never loved it before.

“A tribute album is great because it allows people to see that one version of a song is not definitive. I think that’s a really important thing.”

Last comes Landscapes, a collection of instrumental and atmospheric remixes often featured before concerts and requested by fans.

Above all, Bell says he’s ever-grateful for the community that has, and continues to support him after all these years.

“I owe it to my fans to do good work,” he says.

“Artists have to see themselves as public servants. And I think when they do, community will reward them. It’s not a ‘me’ thing but a ‘we’ thing.”

Pilgrimage is available from SteveBell.com, select stores, and will be available on iTunes later this fall.

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Steve Bell – Pilgrimage Release – 800+ words (PLACEHOLDER TITLE)

WINNIPEG—Singer-songwriter Steve Bell is no stranger to accolades. He’s been described as “one of the most imaginative, clear-headed and theologically informed singers and songwriters you will ever hear,” by Jeremy Begbie of Duke University.

And after 25 years and multiple major music awards as one of Canada’s most celebrated Christian artists, one might think that Bell would be just about ready to take a breather—maybe even call it quits and hang up his guitar after a now-storied career. But of course, they’d be wrong. On the contrary, Bell’s latest release, a four-disc set entitled Pilgrimage, might be one of his most ambitious to date.

Coming this September, Pilgrimage packages Bell’s latest effort of original music alongside discs of fan-chosen re-recordings, instrumental re-mixes, and a tribute disc featuring cover songs done by some of Bell’s friends and colleagues in the music industry. Also included in the set is a reflective biographical essay and comprehensive discography from distinguished scholar and writer John Stackhouse Jr.

“The project started out as a single album of new material,” Bell says. “We then thought that because it coincided with my 25th anniversary [since the release of his 1989 album, Comfort My People], it would be fun to expand the project to be a bit of a celebration.  It was a happy accident that the title ‘Pilgrimage’ so suited the larger vision of the project.”

The collection was funded through the popular online platform Kickstarter, in which fans and supporters could contribute financially to the project, something that Bell says is extra special in celebrating what the last 25 years have meant in terms of building a musical “community.”

“My career from the start has enjoyed incredible support from the wider community.  I may get the credit… but it’s been a ‘we’ thing all along,” he says.

And it’s that community that Bell says continues to drive him to make good art.

“I owe it to my fans to do good work,” he says, noting that the changing landscape of the music industry has made it necessary for artists in general to serve their fans in more intentional ways.

“Artists have to see themselves as public servants. And I think when they do, community will reward them.”

The eponymous first disc from Pilgrimage, featuring all-new material for the first time since 2012’s Keening for the Dawn, once again features the same impeccable signature vocals and sure-fingered guitar work that fans have come to expect from Bell over the course of his career. Reflective, insightful, and unmistakably Steve Bell, the album features a number of tracks that may be among the best work he’s produced to date, though if you ask Bell himself, he’d be humbly reluctant to give a definitive answer.

“One hopes to be getting better…I’ve had several folks tell me that certain songs on my new project are my ‘best yet.’ Who knows?” he says. But as for the process of putting a full record together, Bell is confident that things have only gotten better, and doesn’t shy away from giving praise where praise is due.

“I think we’re getting better at the craft of album making. Sonically, Dave Zeglinski, who engineered, mixed and mastered the album, has done a superb job,” he says. “I hope he gets awarded for this one.”

Pilgrimage features a wide range of talented musicians, something that Bell says evokes an equally diverse variety of emotions and sentiments, all good ones.

“In terms of production, there’s a tangible ‘at easeness’ about the arrangements and playing that comes with seasoned players, and there’s a vitality and vigor that comes from the younger contributors,” he says.

The album’s first single is the catchy “Turn it Around,” a folksy pop track featuring some colourful but sparse guitarwork from Bell and a catchy driving up-tempo beat. But keeping step with the extensive range of musical accomplices featured throughout, Pilgrimage runs a wide gamut of roots, pop, ballads, devotions of personal piety, love songs, and even a pair of guitar-only instrumentals, a personal highlight for Bell.

“I’m delighted to include two new guitar instrumentals—something I haven’t done for several projects now.”

While new material is always exciting, Bell is also eager for fans to hear some of the project’s other offerings, including Good Company, a set of cover songs sung by Bell’s musical friends and colleagues. Bell thinks the disc might just be the “sleeper hit” of the entire project, and says that hearing his friends’ interpretations has led him to love his own work in ways he’s never loved it before.

“A tribute album is great because it allows people to see that one version of a song is not definitive. I think that’s a really important thing.”

Also included in the set is Unadorned, a collection of fan-chosen favourites, re-recorded to feature simply Bell and his guitar, unaccompanied, as well as Landscapes, a collection of instrumental remixes often featured before concerts and requested by fans.

Part new and part commemorative, the Pilgrimage project is one that Bell cites as special and in particular, celebratory of a career he feels fortunate to still be in after a quarter century.

“Twenty-five years is fun for me; I’m just surprised I’m still here,” he says with a laugh.

Pilgrimage is available from SteveBell.com, select stores, and will be available on iTunes later this fall.

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