Rachael Kilgour is an award-winning songwriter and performing artist whose sincere, lyric-driven work bravely walks the line between personal and political.  The 2015 grand prize winner of the esteemed international NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition, Kilgour has been featured at NYC’s Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and at the Sundance Film Festival. She was also chosen as a winner in the 2017 Kerrville New Folk Contest. 

Kilgour released her newest album, Rabbit in the Road, in March of 2017. Billboard called the work "...a heartfelt slice of master crafted indie folk brimming with the battle-tested capacity to endure the worst in others."

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This Machine... 

...Doesn't kill anyone but hopefully, it makes them think.

Introducing my new music-making companion: an OM series hand built by legendary New England luthier, Alan Carruth. I had a magical time visiting Alan at his shop in NH yesterday afternoon. Not only is he very good at his job, but he has a heart of gold and a head full of a trillion random facts and anecdotes. I am glad I met him. If you like what you see, he has a couple other guitars for sale at Stubblebine Lutherie in Somerville, MA. Also, he could probably build you anything you ever dreamed of.

Some big things. 

Later this week, Sara Pajunen and I will leave MN to begin our two-year adventure in Boston, MA. Catch our new duo, SOUND AN ECHO, as we drive East: 

AUG 5th - Park Center, Hayward WI 

AUG 8th - The Ark, Ann Arbor MI 


Once we arrive in Boston, I spend just a few days getting settled into our new home before hitting the road again with my solo work. Join me at these upcoming gigs, including an exciting performance at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. later this month: 

AUG 13th - Club Passim, Cambridge MA 

AUG 16th - Deepwells Mansion, Long Island NY 

AUG 18th - House Show NYC, NY 

AUG 24th - Kennedy Center, Washington D.C. 

AUG 25 - Moore Music, Rockville MD 

AUG 27th - Awkward Pause House Concert, Baltimore MD 

SEPT 16th - Ethical Brew, Teaneck NJ 

OCT 15th - First Acoustics, Brooklyn NY 

NOV 2nd - House Show, Dallas TX 

NOV 4th - Sycamore Creek House Concerts, Dripping Springs TX 

NOV 5th - New Braunfels House Concerts, New Braunfels TX 

NOV 6th - Milagro Springs House Concert, Wimberly TX 

NOV 7th - Blue Rock Studios, Wimberly TX 

NOV 9th - Open Ears Concerts, Austin TX 

NOV 10th - Fischer Fest, Fischer TX 

NOV 12th - Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis, MN 


Last week I flew down to Asheville, NC to record a handful of new songs for an upcoming EP. The recording project was part of my winnings from the 2015 NewSong Contest. Sara (Pajunen) wrote some stunning string arrangements for a few of the pieces. She and I joined producer Gar Ragland and the NewSong team at Echo Mountain Studios for three long and glorious days of recording. 


Sound an Echo had a successful first tour this June! Check out the video of our adventures as we circled Lake Superior! 


At the end of May I participated in the Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition and was chosen as one of six winners! In November we will take a mini tour through Texas together. Made some good friends and heard a lot of good tunes on that trip. 


That's all for now! Keep an eye on my website and social media accounts for updates! 



Upcoming Adventures and May Tour Dates 

Click for more info: 
5/3 Erie, PA 
5/6 Franklin, MA 
5/7 Newton, MA 
5/8 Cambridge, MA 
5/11 Burlington, VT 
5/12 Brooklyn, NY 
5/13 NY, NY 
5/14 Huntington, NY 
5/18 Newtown Square, PA 
5/20 Pittsburgh, PA 
5/21 Pittsburgh, PA 
5/21 Johnson City, TN 
5/25 Denton, TX 
5/28 Kerrville, TX 



<img data-cke-saved-src="//s3.amazonaws.com/content.sitezoogle.com/u/128987/57324b3f351e61a7c5fde5d9cdb8c0c60b1916fc/original/screen-shot-2017-04-30-at-3-01-16-pm.png?1493582537" src="//s3.amazonaws.com/content.sitezoogle.com/u/128987/57324b3f351e61a7c5fde5d9cdb8c0c60b1916fc/original/screen-shot-2017-04-30-at-3-01-16-pm.png?1493582537" class="size_l justify_center border_">Sara and I will be touring Northern MI and MN in late June. 
Click the image to listen and learn more! 

And finally, I wanted to let you all know that come August, I will be moving to the Boston area! I don't plan on it being a permanent move, but I'd like to try digging into the New England folk scene and my 30s seem like the best time for an adventure. More on that next time... 


Billboard premieres "Deep Bruises" 

I've been happily working with Newsong Music and Terrorbird Media to promote the album in anticipation of this week's release. This past month we've garnered the attention of publications like Impose Magazine, PopMatters and, my personal favorite, Billboard. Take a look/listen:

A New Year. 

Happy New Year! 

It’s time again for letting go of the old and birthing the new. I am happy to FINALLY announce the official release of my third album, Rabbit in the Road, March 3rd on NewSong Recordings. It has been a long road; one marked by gigantic growth spurts. 

For the past year and a half, I have toured the country sharing this new work from the stage. I have the most beautiful memories of teary faces and post-show conversations about grief and parenthood and bravery. What an honor it’s been to share those moments with you. 

If you haven't yet picked up a copy at one of my live performances, I’d like to invite you to pre-order the album and receive an immediate download of the single “Deep Bruises” by visiting http://bit.ly/RK-RitR-NSR. 

Just today, the publicity team sent out the first round of announcements to some notable print and radio contacts. I am hopeful – with the help of NewSong Recordings, Terrorbird Publicity and folks like you – that these songs will make their way to a host of new listeners who will make good use of them.  

I will be touring with the album again this late winter and early spring - (www.rachaelkilgour.com/tour) - please let me know if you have any performance opportunities in mind! In the meantime, I'm happily settling in at my new home in Minneapolis, MN. New adventures for a new year! 

Thank you for your support, 


Rabbit in the Road is the third, soon-to-be-released album from Rachael Kilgour, the 2015 grand prize winner of the esteemed international NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition. It was produced by Catie Curtis, engineered by Crit Harmon and mixed by Gar Ragland at Echo Mountain Recording Studios in Asheville, NC. 

A study in the complexities of grief and transformation, the album takes an intimate and often painful look at a failed marriage and the loss of family. Kilgour’s writing and delivery cut deep, with resolute simplicity. Sorrow, rage, resilience and compassion exist side by side within a series of honest and memorable melodies. The collection of work stands tall on a foundation of vulnerability and opens the door to moments of profound connection. 

“While I have always felt a strong pull to address social injustices from the stage, this new collection of work requires something new of me,” Kilgour shared. “I feel called to use my platform to address emotion and grief and forgiveness in a way that is not often done in our culture.” 

Though the album was instigated by a particular moment in her life, each track explores a different aspect of Kilgour’s emotional journey: 

“I was taught from a young age that a person’s hurtful behavior is almost always a sign of inner pain and not a reflection of your self-worth. The second track on the album, ‘Deep Bruises’, was my attempt to put that belief into practice under the most difficult circumstances.” 

Later, in “Ready Freddie”, Kilgour professes her unconditional love and confidence in her step-daughter as she steps into adolescence: 

“I know you can take it 
I believe that you will make it 
On your own somehow 
Maybe not right now 
But I can see you’re almost ready 
Do you think you’re ready Freddie? 
Say it right out loud 
You’re gonna make me proud” 

Finally, in the title track, Kilgour examines the dualities of forgiveness. As is true of the album in its entirety, the detailed examination of Kilgour’s relationships and emotions is surprisingly universal: 

“With your hands around his neck 
You spared his misery 
How swift you gave that rabbit 
What you couldn’t give to me” 


"Rachael Kilgour is fearless in portraying her personal life in song, yet that very intimacy and vulnerability creates art that anyone can identify with." - John Platt WFUV Radio 

"Kilgour is the real deal - a modern troubadour confronting raw truths with a powerful voice and passionate, socially conscious songs that will move anyone who still believes that music can – and should – change the world.”  - ASCAP Playback

"Rabbit in the Road" Pre-Release Tour 

I'm happy to announce the upcoming release of my third album, "Rabbit in the Road"! With help from NewSong Recordings, producer Catie Curtis and co-producers Gar Ragland and Crit Harmon, a whole host of talented musicians, artists, friends, family and listeners like you, the album is finally on the verge of release: 

Rabbit in the Road is the third soon-to-be-released album from Rachael Kilgour, the 2015 grand prize winner of the esteemed international NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition.  
A study in the complexities of grief and transformation, the album takes an intimate and often painful look at a failed marriage and the loss of family.  
Kilgour’s writing and delivery cut deep, with resolute simplicity. Sorrow, rage, resilience and compassion exist side by side within a series of honest and memorable melodies. The delicately brutal collection of work stands tall on a foundation of unwavering vulnerability. 

While the official release will be pushed into the future a couple months to make room for a stellar publicity campaign, I’ll be kicking off a pre-release tour (that's what we're calling it) this month. with a FREE CONCERT at LINCOLN CENTER in NYC on September 8th! Copies of the album will be available for purchase at this concert and at all upcoming pre-release events. 

Following NYC, I return home to Duluth, MN for a candle-lit pre-release show at The Sacred Heart Music Center. My friends, Robinson & Rohe, a brilliant duo out of Brooklyn, will open the show. I'm looking forward to sharing the record and a beautiful, honest evening with the community that has supported me with such vigor. 

From there I head to Minneapolis, through Southern MN, IA, Chicago and then throughout the North East. I'll play Club Passim in Cambridge on October 9th with Lisa Bastoni and Rockwood Music Hall in NYC on November 15th with past NewSong winners, Max Hatt & Edda Glass for John Platt’s On Your Radar program. There's a whole host of performances to choose from. 

I will be traveling up and down the East Coast with the album for most of October and November. See www.rachaelkilgour.com/tour for tour dates! If you notice a gap in the schedule and are interested in hosting a house concert, please let me know! 

If you were a part of the Kickstarter campaign, keep an eye out for news from me. More updates on their way about the official release for radio and other press and a winter tour. 

Also, if you have friends in any of the following towns, pleeeeeeeeaaaase send them my way - I could especially use your help filling up Lincoln Center next week! ;) Thanks and see you out there.  


Songs from My Living Room - February 10th 

I just returned from the most marvelous trip to the Sundance Film Festival! The mind-blowing experience (which included a performance at the ASCAP Music Cafe and a handful of comp tickets to some incredible films) was just one of the many fabulous prizes I was awarded as the winner of the NewSong Contest last month. Those guys are peaches, I tell you. NewSong Music. Look 'em up. 

I'm writing to invite you all to an online concert! I know that quite a few of you live a distance away from me and don't often get the chance to see me live, so this one's for you! On February 10th at 8pm CST you can sign in to Concert Window at https://www.concertwindow.com/105071-rachael-kilgour and watch the live show from the comfort of your own home! No babysitters necessary. Welcome to the future! 

In the meantime, check out my new video! It's a submission for the NPR Tiny Desk Concert series and was filmed by Trent Waterman on a frozen Minnesota lake.

Rachael Kilgour Wins the NewSong Contest! 

Some exciting news to start off the the new year! On January 7th I participated as a finalist in the NewSong Music Showcase and Competition at the Lincoln Center in NYC! It was quite the experience playing in that venue to a packed house and an honor to share the stage with some very talented artists. In the end, I was named the Grand Prize Winner of the competition, earning me a performance at the Sundance Film Festival later this month, a future performance of my own at Lincoln Center (date to be determined) and an EP recorded and produced at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, NC.


What a whirlwind! I spent some time in NYC celebrating with friends and connecting with some of my favorite musical peers, and now I'm back in Boston, MA getting ready for my final three days in the studio. Working with Catie Curtis and Crit Harmon on this project, as well as the many talented studio musicians, has been a dream. Can't wait to get this new album in your hands!

Thanks for the love!

A Joyful December! 

 A GIGANTIC thank you to everyone who contributed and/or shared the Kickstarter campaign with friends and family. I cannot believe we pulled that off! I am feeling so blessed to have songwriting as an outlet, to have the ability to make something beautiful out of a difficult time, and to have the chance to connect so deeply with so many souls. Crowdfunding can be crazy terrifying, but it also is such a fantastic reminder of the need for community and connection. I would not have been able to do this without each and every one of you and I don't plan on forgetting that anytime soon.

In other exciting news, I return to the East Coast this January to take part in the finals for the national Newsong Contest at The Lincoln Center in NYC!! It is such an honor to be chosen and to have the chance to perform in that space!! I wish I could bring all of you with me.

After the contest, I will head back to Boston for one last trip to the studio. We completed quite a lot during my last visit in November and I'm excited to be nearing the finish line! Once we finish perfecting my vocals and adding some harmonies, all that's left is mixing and mastering the recording, designing album artwork and coming up with a release plan! I'm reminded that anything worth doing is worth doing well...and doing things well often takes time. Thank you so much for your patience and support! 

Until my next big trip, I'm spending some time at home in Duluth, MN, praying for snow and preparing Kickstarter rewards! After much deliberation, I've decided not to release the live album I was working on this fall. The concert we recorded in my hometown on August 28th was a surprisingly emotional performance. While I am grateful to have record of the night and am proud to have made it through with the support of the audience, it's not something that's meant for sharing with the world.

INSTEAD, I'm putting on a free Christmas concert. Because money is a bad reason to miss out on joy. If you are in the Duluth area, I hope you'll join me on December 18th at Amazing Grace Cafe! 

Happy Holidays to you, whatever they may be!

We won Kickstarter! :) 

$15, 896!! Thanks to everyone for jumping in and helping make this album happen! I fly out to Boston on November 3rd to continue with the recording process. Wish me luck!


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June 2018