Margo Cilker

Key to the Highway: Margo Cilker

Interviews Key to the Highway Series

Margo Cilker photo by Jen Borst

Americana Highways’ Key to the Highway series

Fans always clamor to learn more about their favorite, most beloved musicians and those who travel with them. There’s such an allure to the road, with its serendipity, inevitable surprises, and sometimes unexpected discomforts. This interview series is a set of questions we are asking some of our favorite roots rock Americana artists to get to know more about them and what they’ve learned and experienced on the road for music. We are sure they have key insights to share and stories to tell. Here’s one from Margo Cilker.

Americana Highways: How do you like your coffee or other morning wake-up beverage?

Margo Cilker: Coffee with milk. When I’m on tour I lean heavily on a midday espresso, too.

AH: What’s the most interesting or strangest motel/hotel or place you have stayed (while on the road?)

MC: Some come to mind, but it seems it would be bad luck to talk about them.

AH: If one CD is stuck in the player in the van for the entire tour, what do you hope it is? And why?

MC: Probably Rough and Rowdy Ways, Bob’s latest. There’s enough variety among the songs that at least one track will land.

AH: What’s one personal item you must have with you on your road trip?

MC: I like to have my journal with me. I wish I’d write more, but I can’t find much time. Feels good to have it, though.

AH: What is your relationship with food? How do you handle this on the road, and what’s your favorite dish on the road, (or restaurant, and what do you order there)?

MC: Finding simple, nourishing food on the road is very uplifting. When we find a good restaurant on tour, we’ll eat there as many times as we can while we’re in town.

John Calvin Abney taught me about putting ginger wellness shots on my rider – that’s been a game changer. Smoothies, too. I’m a junkie for smoothies on the road.

AH:  If you could pause your life for a few weeks and spend some time living in a place you only have passed through, which would you choose, and why?

MC: I would spend more time in the South Carolina low country. There is so much history to learn about, and the landscape, smells, flora and fauna are interesting to me. I’d love to hunker down there to write.

AH: What quote or piece of advice have you gotten from someone on the road that has really stuck with you?

MC: When I was a young whippersnapper I was hanging out at a neighborhood bar in the Basque Country. The old man I was having a wine with told me: “The train comes only once. Get on it with intention, and you won’t regret it.” I took that advice to heart, I think because it was from an older fellow who didn’t come from the world of music – he just recognized in me a hunger to make something of myself. He encouraged me to follow my compass. It’s a sweet memory.

Find more information and tour dates for Margo Cilker here:

See other Key to the Highway interviews here: (click here for: Vince Herman Jimmy Smith  Ben Nichols Bruce Cockburn Charlie Musselwhite Nicki Bluhm Jim White Danny Barnes  Patterson Hood Jerry Joseph BJ Barham Rodney Crowell Todd Snider Elizabeth Cook Tommy Womack Eric Ambel, Dan Baird, Robbie Fulks, Malcolm Holcombe Jon Langford Steve Poltz, Lilly Hiatt  Sarah Shook & the Disarmers Sadler Vaden )

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