Margo Cilker/No Pardon/An American Forest
Margo Cilker apprenticed herself to the songwriter’s trade the old-fashioned way: get her heart broken in South Carolina, move to Spain and busk all over Europe a la Ramblin’ Jack, sing a duet on a Spanish Honky-Tonk band’s recording of an Ernest Tubb classic (“Nails in my Coffin,” with Dead Bronco), tour Europe with a band of Flatt-and-Scruggs-obsessed Englishmen, then return to her native California and milk cows on an organic farm in Petaluma. Cilker writes songs that philosophize hard work, heartbreak, and wanderlust with the reverence of a country music obsessive and the sharp-eyed clarity of one who was not born into country music but had to find it (and live it) for herself.
No Pardon is a rippin' folk trio born in Eureka CA that showcases conceptually fluid songwriting and toe-tappin' fiddle tunes. Chris Parreira's rhythm guitar is tastefully textured, an articulate mash-up between folk, rock, and country. Bringing in tunes from around the world, Rosalind Parducci's fiddling chops are intricate and imaginative, pulsing with Celtic, blues and old-time roots. Undeniably, it's all about that upright bass, featuring the heartbeat-steady backing of Amber Grimes.
"One of the highlights of 2018 was getting to see An American Forrest live. He’ll be a new artist to most, but earlier this year the cowboy walked out of the wilderness with one of the finest albums I’ve heard.” - Sean Jewell, American Standard Time