On this 2004 release, Mark Erelli takes the dive he's always hinted at, unveiling an entire album of western swing originals. Back in the 1930s and 40s, crowds flocked to dance halls to hear music that combined big-band jazz with country instrumentation. Hillbilly Pilgrim finds Erelli teaming up with members of Boston's premier country band The Spurs to put a new spin on the tradition. Hillbilly Pilgrim is immersed in vintage twang without abandoning Erelli's contemporary sensibility and the heartfelt, thoughtful lyrics more commonly associated with folk music. This is a fun, largely uptempo record, where even the tearjerkers are leavened by sleek steel guitar and Erelli's jukebox vocals.
"Erelli's charm lies in his ability to evoke the ambience of the old dance halls, where space and a quiet romance hung between men and women who stood on opposite sides of the floor waiting for that chance to dance with the future." --Houston Chronicle
released January 20, 2004
Produced by Lorne Entress
Mark Erelli - vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
Frankie Blandino - steel guitar
Rich Dubois - fiddle
Lorne Entress - drums
Jerry Miller - 6 & 12-string electric guitars, mandolin
Johnny Sciascia - upright bass
Erin McKeown - "Pretend"
Jake Armerding - "Pilgrim Highway"
Kris Delmhorst - "Pilgrim Highway"
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