Jackson Emmer & Rachael Kilgour
“Few are writing songs like Jackson Emmer.” – Rolling Stone
He can’t help it. Songs keep Jackson Emmer up at night. Born with an unrelenting creative spark, Emmer has quietly built his reputation as a songwriter’s songwriter on the outskirts of country music. His work blends humor with heartache, and tradition with exploration. Emmer’s whiskey-smooth, conversational singing style is as distinct as his writing. He often croons at a whisper, drawing listeners in with his relaxed, understated delivery. Lately, Emmer has drawn critical acclaim for his 2018, sophomore album, “Jukebox.”
While honing his gentle, country sound on the backroads of America, Emmer moved around the US for almost a decade. Colorado, North Carolina, and Vermont were his main anchor points. He began performing in local blues bands at the age of 18. Too young to be admitted through the front door of a bar, Emmer often had to sneak in through the kitchen to play. A few years later, he found work in string bands and bar bands before focusing on the craft of songwriting. Never one to shy away from a side-hustle, Emmer has worked nearly 40 jobs to support his “music habit.” Grocery shelver, limo driver, waiter, museum attendant, and produce farmer- the list goes on. This varied background has become a key ingredient in Emmer’s writing.
Jackson Emmer is often compared to artists like John Prine, Guy Clark, and Roger Miller. In 2018 he won awards for his songwriting at the Telluride Troubadour Contest (Telluride, CO), Folks Festival Songwriter Showcase (Lyons, CO), and Songwriter Serenade (Moravia, TX). He has opened for or co-billed with: Leon Bridges, Della Mae, John Oates, and The Wood Brothers, to name a few.
Rachael Kilgour is a Minnesotan songwriter and performing artist whose sincere, lyric-driven work has been called both brave and humane.
Married in her early twenties, Kilgour devoted her young adulthood to parenting her stepchild and building family and community. Her work from that time (Self-Titled 2008, Will You Marry Me? 2011, Whistleblower’s Manifesto 2013) chronicled her life as a young parent in a same-sex partnership and addressed sociopolitical issues from government corruption to income inequality and religious hypocrisy. Kilgour’s music career took a backseat during those years as she lived a slow, home-focused life.
In 2014, divorce brought an unwanted end to her role as a member of the family she had helped to grow. In the aftermath, Kilgour found solace in songwriting. Her third full-length album, Rabbit in the Road, was born out of that time.
Called “…a heartfelt slice of master crafted indie folk brimming with the battle-tested capacity to endure the worst in others” by Billboard, Rabbit in the Road took an intimate and often painful look at the failed marriage and loss of family. Kilgour’s writing and delivery cut deep, with resolute simplicity. Ravelin Magazine observed “this sort of metonymic ability to evoke the whole of someone or the entirety of a feeling is typical of Kilgour’s poetic songwriting.”
In February of 2019, Kilgour follows up with the release of her new EP, Game Changer. The aptly titled work examines the artist’s tentative first steps into a new existence, post-heartbreak. With a clear head, Kilgour touches on the complicated nature of romance and relationship, sets up a stunning defense of queer love, and reassesses her priorities as a citizen of a changing wider world.