RACHAEL KILGOUR + CRYS MATTHEWS
Time & Location
About The Event
Rachael Kilgour is a Minnesota-born, Boston-based songwriter and performing artist whose sincere, lyric-driven work has been called both brave and humane. The 2015 grand prize winner of the esteemed international NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition and winner of the 2017 Kerrville New Folk Contest, Kilgour has been featured at NYC’s Lincoln Center, at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and by the ASCAP Music Cafe at the Sundance Film Festival.
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 September of 2018, 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 world, 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.
Recorded in Asheville, NC at Echo Mountain Studios and produced by Gar Ragland, the EP will be released on NewSong Recordings and features captivating string arrangements by violinist Sara Pajunen.
Crys Matthews is nothing if not ambitious. In August 2017, she simultaneously released both a new full-length album, The Imagineers and an EP, Battle Hymn For An Army Of Lovers. These collections showcase two sides of Matthews’ dynamic songwriting; The Imagineers is a selection of thoughtful songs about love and life while Battle Hymn For An Army Of Lovers tackles social justice themes. Songs from both projects have already won her recognition and awards. She was one of ten finalists (from a pool of 5,000) in this year’s NewSong Music Competition and, after performing at Lincoln Center on November 30th, she was named grand-prize winner. Matthews also won the People Music Network’s Social Justice Songs contest at the 2017 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance.
Crys Matthews blends Americana, folk, jazz, blues, bluegrass and funk into a bold, complex performance steeped in traditional melodies and punctuated by honest, original lyrics. Having been compared to everyone from Toshi Reagon to Tracy Chapman to Ruthie Foster, Matthews’ eclectic infusion of genres has won her honorable mentions at the 2017, 2013 and 2014 Mid-Atlantic Song Contest and extensive radio play from Woman of Substance radio to WTJU-Charlottesville and WMRA-Harrisonburg to KBOO-Portland.
Equally at home in an acoustic listening room as she is on stage at large music festivals, Matthews has quickly gathered a loyal following on the east coast playing such prestigious venues as the Sundance Film Festival, The Birchmere, The Hamilton, and Jammin’ Java. Matthews’ festival and showcase roster has included BMI’s Island Hopper Songwriter Festival, the 40th Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, Folk Alliance International, 30A Songwriters Festival, Northeast Regional Folk Alliance and many more.
A prolific lyricist and composer, Matthews has found inspiration in her surroundings; from driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains to the compelling and heart-breaking love story of Richard and Mildred Loving. Thoughtful, realistic and emotional, Matthews’ songs speak to the voice of our generation and remind us why music indeed soothes the soul.