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Focus On: Eliza Gilkyson

Interview:
(19:27)
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The daughter of successful songwriter Terry Gilkyson, Eliza is a third generation musician who grew up in Los Angeles knowing that her life would revolve around music. “I got into it for all the wrong reasons, more as a survival tool than anything else, but it proved to serve me more than I dared to imagine.” As a teenager, she recorded demos for her dad, who wrote folk music hits “Greenfields,” “Marianne,” and “Memories Are Made of This,” among others. “He would use me in the studio because I had a mature voice at an early age and would work for free,” laughs Eliza. Soon after, she was writing and recording her own material as well.

At the end of the sixties, she moved to New Mexico with likeminded souls, eventually raising a family, all the while developing a loyal fan base in the Southwest and Texas. She cut numerous records, including Pilgrims, released on Gold Castle Records in 1987. It was her most successful record to date, but also gave her a reputation as a new age artist due to its atmospheric nature – a brief departure from her folk-driven roots.After a period in Europe working with Swiss composer/harpist Andreas Vollenweider, Eliza returned to the United States releasing Through the Looking Glass in ’96 (Private Music), and 1997’s Redemption Road (Silverwave/ MTI), which she has recently reissued.

Eliza started her own label, Realiza Records and put out Misfits in 1999, a collection of outtakes that received favorable press as a sound that connected the worlds of folk and modern storytelling. In 2000, Eliza released her first album on the Red House Records label, Hard Times in Babylon. The album was a critical success followed quickly by more acclaim for Lost and Found. She has also been on several compilations issued by Red House, including the Bob Dylan tribute album, Nod to Bob, and the recent release, Going Driftless, a collection of Greg Brown songs all done by female songwriters

Eliza has recently appeared on NPR's All Things Considered, Austin City Limits and on tour with Patty Griffin and Mary Chapin Carpenter. In February of 2003, she was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame, alongside such luminaries as Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, Nancy Griffith, and others. Eliza's most recent release is Land of Milk and Honey, a recording decidedly more sociopolitical in theme. She begins touring this Spring of 2004 in her new van, dubbed El Presidente. Hope to see you out there!

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Eliza's latest CD,
Paradise Hotel


Eliza’s Webpage

Discography

Land of Milk & Honey
Lost and Found
Hard Times In Babylon
Redemption Road
Pilgrims
Misfits

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