Billy Pilgrim Returns From Two Decade Hiatus

Posted by Greg on Jul 11, 2020 in Music |

Long before he became a household name in Grammy-winning country outfit Sugarland, singer-songwriter Kristian Bush was a member of the Atlanta-based acoustic folk duo Billy Pilgrim. Bush and singer-songwriter Andrew Hyra released two critically acclaimed albums as Billy Pilgrim and found themselves sharing stages with the likes of Melissa Etheridge, Cowboy Junkies, Matthew Sweet and Hootie and the Blowfish, to name a few.

But after the release of 1996’s Bloom (Atlantic Records), Bush and Hyra went to work on an album called In The Time Machine. Alas the album was not to be. A fire at Nickel and Dime Studio in Decatur, GA in 2000 burned the master tapes, leaving Billy Pilgrim back to where they started. Armed with only one solid copy of the album, the duo pressed 500 CDs and sold them at a 2001 gig at Eddie’s Attic. After that gig, the duo went their separate ways.

While the group never officially called it quits, they did stop communicating. That impasse ended in 2016 when Hyra and Bush reunited for a one-off gig. Fast forward to spring 2020 and sure enough, Bush stumbled across that one good copy while spring cleaning during quarantine. Bush placed a call to Hyra and set in motion the release of In the Time Machine. Due out this fall, the duo has released the introspective “Call It Even” as a lead single. Ostensibly a song about forgiveness and second chances, “Call it Even” is very much the heart of what makes Billy Pilgrim so darn great. Featuring light organ, hushed acoustic guitar and plain-spoken vocals, “Call it Even” is the sound of triumph in a world hampered by failure. Winning, welcome and worth-the-wait, it is the very song needed in these most uncertain times.


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