Award winning songwriter, Jessica Kilroy, lives and breathes the life of a troubadour. Capturing each moment with heartfelt lyrics and a voice that Bluesman Guy Davis once described as "beautiful and pure, it takes me somewhere deep and way back", her songs have the depth of the land she is from.
Born outside Victor, Idaho and spending her life between Teton Valley and the Rocky Mountains of Montana, Jessica learned at an early age that there is no short cut to the top of any mountain. She has fought hard to overcome many obstacles, and through compassion and music strives to help others climb mountains of their own. During Kilroy's former careers as a hotshot firefighter, rock climbing instructor and wilderness therapy instructor, she was able to spend the off-seasons making up for lost time, traveling and writing. Through each journey, her guitar has been her companion.
After watching Jessica perform live, Grammy nominated songwriter Skip Ewing expressed, "Jessica's voice is honest and pure, it's nothing like I've ever heard before. She's a 21st century Emmy Lou Harris." In 2005, Skip invited Jessica to sing at the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee where she performed "in the round" with Ewing, Viktor Krauss, Pat Flynn, Barry Walsh and Tommy Harden.
Kilroy has traveled the US and Europe, performing and co-billing with diverse acts such as Tony Trischka, Don McLean, Darrell Scott, Guy Davis, Walt Michaels, The Wilders, Trampled by Turtles, The Drew Emmitt Band, Califone, Yonder Mountain String Band, Bill Nershi, Po Girl, Ben Sollee, Califone, The McCoury Brothers and many others. In 2008 Kilroy won the NW String Summit Band Competition with her bluegrass trio and was invited to perform on the main stage in both 2009 and 2010. Also in 2008, Kilroy was selected for the Horse & Writer Invitational Scholarship Award including a week of one-on-one mentorship from five of Nashville's top hit songwriters. In 2009 she was selected as a finalist for the Telluride Troubadour Competition and performed a solo set on the main stage as well as performing with Sam Bush and the Troubadour finalists.
Kilroy's first album "Before Dawn", comprised of all original folk music and recorded in a small Montana cabin in 2003 (each song recorded with just guitar and vocals in one take) was recently re-released in 2009. "Jessica Kilroy doesn't hide behind a posse of guests and bandmates. Her voice is quietly compelling, and she doesn't distract from the songs with vocal gymnastics that I suspect she is more than capable of pulling off. Her guitar playing is subtle and understated. The focus, then, becomes the songs themselves, and there isn't a dud among the nine tracks of her recently re-released debut, Before Dawn." -The Missoulian
Kilroy's award winning sophomore album "Big Dreams" (2007), comprised of original Americana and bluegrass, features guest vocalist Anne Sibley, and bluegrass musicians Eric Thorin, Ben Winship, Brian Wicklund and John Lowell. "Kilroy's new album "Big Dreams" showcases her light, angelic voice and highly melodic songwriting. Fans of Allison Krauss may feel like they're witnessing a second coming when Kilroy sings." -The Missoulian
Last year, Kilroy completed a 10 country, three month, European tour performing solo and with her side project "Pterodactyl Plains" in support of their internationally acclaimed debut album "Raven" (2010) and is currently touring 13 countries in three months in support of her third album "Cold" (Limited European Release 2011) and sophomore Pterodactyl Plains album "In the Air".
"With a laid back, witty stage presence, Jessica exudes effortless magnetism. Her voice both earthbound and ethereal, her songs paint a tangible sense of place, grounded in Montana vistas and notched with asphalt scars." –Jambase