Thursday, April 21, 2011
Everything's coming up roses for Eliza
One of our favorite female artists since we stumbled upon her 2000 release Hard Times in Babylon, Gilkyson has always brought rich vocals, evocative lyrics and sterling musicianship to every project. It's saying something, then, to suggest the Grammy nominee's latest Red House Records album might be her best to date.
The seductive ballad "Blue Moon Night" sets the pace, reminding us once again of Gilkyson's vivid story telling powers. The songs of emotional struggles, conflict and occasional triumph that follow take us up hills and through lush valleys without a single letdown. We also discover immediately that producer/engineer Cisco Ryder (who also provides percussion and backing vocals) has worked all the right dials. After all, it's his mom's music -- who could better channel the familial vibe?
Mike Hardwick's exceptional electric guitar, and guest appearances by John Gorka and Lucy Kaplansky are among the perks that help push Gilkyson's latest effort to a fine new plateau where rootsy folk, pop and Americana blend seamlessly.
We've often wondered why the Austin-based Gilkyson, daughter of acclaimed songwriter Terry Gilkyson ( "Memories Are Made of This," "Marianne" and the Oscar nominated "The Bare Necessities") doesn't receive more radio play. Maybe she does and we aren't tuning in to the right stations. Secure this album and you won't have to go looking for her music. The release date is May 3 but you can download "Looking for a Place" now for free by going to http://www.redhouserecords.com/
Roses at the End of Time is Personal Six String Sanctuary Tout (PSSST!) No. 23, the first pre-release to make the big board. It leaves that kind of lasting impression.