Caitlin Jemma & Margo Cilker


When the days shorten and the calendar begins to thin, the need for reflection tends to gnaw at the psyche. Suddenly, we face the difficult questions so easily brushed away during summer revelry; where are we, what are we moving toward, are we building the place we’ll someday want to inhabit. The trials around us are real and the easy path is soon revealed as no path at all. In this November of our existence, the necessary self-examination is eased when coupled with the sight of others around us fighting the same battles. Caitlin Jemma and Margo Cilker have long been getting up on the dreariest of mornings and answering the call of the world around them. Their struggle is for a life that is honest and work that is true, and it embodies the potential of music to lift us from the doldrums and help us live up to the individuals our ten year-olds selves dreamt to become.

Caitlin Jemma can do anything. Whether it’s whispering a melody that plucks dew from the grass or belting a ballad that raises fists and shakes the floorboards, it’s clear she’s doing exactly what she was put on this earth to do. She sings for those who’ve never heard. She holds nothing back. She stops for no one and yet she gathers up all those in her vicinity and brings them along for the ride. Her music is as fearless as she is, always changing and growing and daring to venture off into unexplored realms while making a fool of anyone trying to confine her to a single genre. She’s an outlaw from the long reach of the music industry and her allure lies in the purity that defines her as an artist. She’s strong and confident and uncompromising, and most of all, she’s fun. My gawd she’s fun. In a world rife with concessions, she’s the best Caitlin Jemma there could possibly be, and she’s only getting better.

If you haven’t met and therefore begun to love Margo Cilker, it’s just a matter of time. Recharging in California between grand worldly excursions, she carries the torch of the troubadour who belongs on the road bringing smiles to every nook and alleyway through which she traipses. Her music demonstrates a traveler’s versatility, a knack for connecting with whomever she may be playing with and for and feeling like it’s right at home regardless of its surroundings. Her work is so polished that it immediately exudes grace and familiarity, and an audience needs only to settle into her first song to be sure that they’ll be listening to her for a long, long time. One dares not call it effortless, it’s simply that the bulk of the effort has already been seen to and all that’s left to do is to enjoy the result.

Dr. Oliver Sachs wrote, “Music is not a luxury, but a necessity,” and in the months before his death he spoke of how encouraged he felt to be leaving the world to the emerging generations of hopers and dreamers and unapologetic badasses. He believed in them, in us, despite all the forces stacking up in opposition. He believed in Caitlin Jemma. He believed in Margo Cilker. He believed in For the Folks. Of course he did.