Old Towne Talent
William Pilgrim
Band members Ishmael Herring (left) and PM Romero (right) have been busy recording their debut release, The Great Recession, at PM’s studio in Old Towne. Their band, known as William Pilgrim and the All Grows Up, is also showcased in a new music video that was filmed in Old Towne.

From his recording studio at the Secoy Ice House in Old Towne Orange, musician PM Romero is busy working on the project of a lifetime. With his new album, “The Great Recession,” slated for release on September 11th, 2012 followed by a documentary about the musical project, PM stays busy in his full-standing studio, where he records and edits his own music and works on projects for clients.

Relocating to Old Towne from South Orange County three years ago, PM found kindred spirits among the many creative professionals here. Through his friend, photographer Scott Montgomery, he met architect Susan Secoy, who told him about the historic warehouse she converted into an enclave for the artists’ community.

“The place has an incredible vibe, and I knew I had to be here,” says PM. “I was raised in Anaheim, so coming back to Orange is like returning to my roots. It’s a Mecca for the creative person, especially here at the Ice House.”

Motivated by the Occupy Wall Street movement, PM recently began writing songs reflecting his views about America’s struggles during the “Great Recession.” To develop the concept, he hooked up with L.A. singer Ishmael Herring.

Forming a band called William Pilgrim and the All Grows Up, the duo collaborated on music and lyrics. The resulting songs include “Soldier’s Tale,” which is an ode to a soldier at war reflecting on his life back home.

“His reflection is that you can’t return to life’s sweet things, like lemonade and the smell of hay in the morning,” PM relates. “The lyric is, ’with my future left behind, I soldier on.’”

Those in Old Towne who attended the recent Hootenanny at Moonlight Graham witnessed Herring’s singing talent, as well as the gathering of musician friends who performed an acoustic set with the duo. A retro apparel retailer, Moonlight Graham also boasts its own record label. They added the William Pilgrim band to the label’s lineup of artists that includes Exene Cervenka and John Doe.

PM says the new album showcases a variety of instrumentations, from violin, mandolin and electric guitar to a full gospel choir.

“We’re gearing up for full band shows,” he says. “We’ve done some acoustic shows locally and are planning on touring in a limited capacity once the album releases.”

Filmed in Old Towne, the band’s first music video can be seen on YouTube

Published in the Jul/Aug 2012 edition of the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review

Written by Karen Anderson, Photograph by Scott Montgomery

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