Inspiration, especially musical inspiration, comes from many different sources ranging from the everyday to the extraordinary. But in there can’t be many things more inspiring, more likely to set the creative juices flowing, than a pilgrimage along ancient trails following in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims. I mean, it’s a step up from buying a new car or visiting Disneyland, don’t you think?
The Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile trail that leads to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain, is perhaps the most famous devotional journey in the Christian world, and even if you are not particularly religious it is often undertaken as a combination of physical challenge and spiritual “me time.” Most people come away from the journey inspired in some way, not all of them are driven to write an album about it.
Peter Hlavin who records under the name Journeyman, however, was and Along The Way, is the result. And rather than just pour out his own thoughts and feelings, Journeyman has fashioned an album full of special guest and the result is an album which runs through various styles and tones, perhaps reflecting the wide-range of different people, the cultures and characters, the moods and emotions that you meet and pass through on such a journey.
The songs generally fall into the pop realm, by and large, Kyle Guerrero manages to push things into a more rock direction on Go Blank, but for the most part, pop it is, though even within that generic pool various sounds are explored, a few boundaries are tested. Brakes on My Heart sees Jean-Luc Kaberuka introduce some latin sass, Maya Sh’von lays out some ethereal gospel sounds courtesy of Lady of The Way and and Walking With Angels sees Che Barq delivers what can best be described as devotional pop.
Very often, after people have been on holiday or visited somewhere special, they bring home some photographs, a few bottles of cheap local spirits and perhaps a dust collecting object to sit on the mantlepiece to act as an occasional reminder of the good times. Not many people write an album about their experiences. Fewer still make it such a wide-ranging and collaborative affair. Journeyman did, and we are sure glad he did.
Imagine what he would come up with if he ever went on a round the world cruise!