A friend sent us this via WhatsApp, and we were simply stunned, especially since it reached us on the 23rd, which was the perfect day for this video.  As we often say, it sometimes seems like the stars align to bring everything together perfectly.

Because, what is Olentzero doing being sung about by a country singer whose CD collection includes Lo Más Lejos a Tu Lado, the 2003 album that shot Fito & Fitipaldis to fame, while she was hitchhiking through Oregon’s Jordan Valley?

All those disparate elements, along with a barrel of either cider or wine, a dantzari, and a jai alai court built in that neck of the woods in 1915 are all part of the official music video of a song by Margo Cilker, called “That River”, which was published a year ago and, as we said, reached us today, with perfect timing for Christmas, as if the universe were confabulating.

And these were all the questions we were asking ourselves, when we discovered not only that the singer has lived and worked in the Basque Country, but also that in the Jordan Valley, on the Oregon–Idaho border, there is a Basque hotel.

And that’s what we discovered, along with some other details, when we found her biography on her website, as well as in a magnificent article by Javier Lucini, published on the Dirty Work website, which talks about a committed woman whose artistic spirit, at least in large part, was forged in the Basque Country.

We love this “western folk singer,” as she calls herself, and we love all of her references and life story.  Plus, of course, her music, because, as she herself says, it’s not easy to find “a similar passion for American music anywhere else.”

After all, out west, especially the Far West, was full of cowboys and shepherds, and we all know well how large a role the Basques played in that.

We’ll leave you with the song, so full of important Basque symbols, as well as the singer’s website and an article in Dirty Work, which speaks about her.

We really love this folk singer and now, she’s on our list of essential music.



MARGO CILKER is a woman who drinks deeply of life, and her debut record Pohorylle, due fall 2021 on Portland label Fluff and Gravy, is brimming with it. For the last seven years, the Eastern Oregon songwriter, who NPR calls one of “11 Oregon Artists to Watch in 2021,” has split her time between the road and various outposts across the world, from Enterprise, OR to the Basque Country of Spain, forging a path that is at once deeply rooted and ever-changing.

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Dirty Work – 21/11/2021 –


Veintiocho años de devaneos y correrías por California (donde creció), por el este de Oregón, el sur de Estados Unidos y el País Vasco (donde llegaría a formar una banda tributo a Lucinda Williams) confluyen en las nueve canciones de este sorprendente y exquisito debut de Margo Cilker. Ella ha vivido en la carretera durante mucho tiempo, por lo que sabe muy bien lo que es la inseguridad, la imprevisión, el misterio, la sensación permanente de falta de dirección y esa «bondad de los extraños» de la que hablaba Blanche Dubois, el maravilloso personaje creado por Tennessee Williams en Un tranvía llamado deseo; sabe muy bien lo que es ser una mujer dividida por los lugares que transita, destinada a perder progresivamente a la gente que quiere, allá donde enraíza, antes de desprenderse, sacudirse la tierra y seguir adelante.
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Last Updated on Dec 27, 2022 by About Basque Country

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