Choose your band name wisely. At the time of writing, Last.FM lists nine artists named Pilgrim. These include a Norwegian doom metal band, a Japanese death metal group, a Czech ‘alternative’ folk band and a gospel collective.
The list doesn’t even feature this Tulsa-based Pilgrim which is the brainchild of frontman and guitarist, 37-year-old Beau Roberson. He is backed by some accomplished Oklahoma musicians; notably John Fullbright (keys) and Jesse Aycock (pedal steel guitar).
The eleven tracks on this record are billed as redemption songs with a bit of betrayal, loss, and love thrown in for good measure.
The album was recorded at Leon Russell’s former Paradise Studio at Grand Lake in Tia Juana, Oklahoma. Pilgrim’s sound is smooth and bluesy with a hint of Americana and soul.
The polished arrangements will appeal to traditionalists but would benefit greatly from a few more rougher edges since in essence this is music meant for sweaty bars rather than plush venues.
In singing of matters of the heart, Roberson acknowledges that “this old world is mean and angry” (Pray For You) which, as the murder ballad Katie illustrates, can lead to tragic consequences.
The band settle into the mellow groove on the opening song, Darkness Of The Bar, and they don’t waver greatly from this formula. High On The Banks has more of a rock riff but this is an exception.
As such, it’s an album that’s easy on the ear but it doesn’t tug hard enough at the heartstrings.
Hear the labum at Bandcamp