Although Eliza Gilkyson released "Calling All Angels" in 1987, the lyrics still ring true today.
Gilkyson, the Austin-based folk musician, is the daughter of songwriter and fellow folk singer Terry Gilkyson. Her brother is guitarist Tony Gilkyson, who played with the legendary Los Angeles-based bands Lone Justice and X.
Eliza Gilkyson is a two-time Grammy Award nominee, receiving nominations for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 2004 and Best Folk Album in 2014.
Singer, songwriter and activist, Gilkyson, who lived in Taos for several years and continues to maintain a residence here (Casa de Musica), where she often hosts songwriting workshops, is now in her 60s, and remains one of the most respected musicians in the folk roots/Americana genre. Staying true to the tradition of folk music as an instrument for sociopolitical change, Gilkyson's new release, "2020," is a collection of politically charged, anthem-like protest songs, intended to inspire active participation in what she believes will be "the most important presidential election of our lifetime."
"Sooner or Later," the first single release from this outing, was written as a rallying cry for the disenfranchised. Gilkyson reflects on the inequality in our world right now and warns that sooner or later we're "gonna rise up, gonna take it all back."
Clearly music runs in the blood of this talented family. Produced by her son, Cisco Ryder, "2020" features songs that are bound to become singalongs in the folk tradition, from the plea for tolerance, "Peace in Our Hearts," to the harsh put-downs of the current regime's policies with "Sooner or Later" and "My Heart Aches."
Along with these new songs (including two co-written with students from her summer songwriter workshops in Taos), she has recorded two perennial and prescient folk favorites: Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" and Pete Seeger's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone."
Gilkyson's recently penned "Beach Haven" was inspired by a letter written by Woody Guthrie in 1952 to the Beach Haven Apartment's landlord Fred Trump (POTUS' father) regarding his racist, segregationist renter policies. The song, drawn from this missive, which has been circulating on social media for the past couple of years, is Guthrie's rousing invitation to Trump to "open your doors" and "rip out the strangling red tape" that keeps the apartment from embracing people of every race and creed.
From climate catastrophe to political mayhem, the singer fearlessly takes it on, all the while affirming her commitment to life, love, community and the earth.
Gilkyson recently supported Richard Thompson on his fall 2019 U.S. tour, and had her song "The Great Correction" covered in 2018 by Joan Baez.
She will be touring behind her new release in 2020, including old and new songs in her setlist, sharing her unique perspective that goes beyond domestic politics, as she urges us to respect all of humankind and the natural world as "united citizens of the earth."
According to Gilkyson, the album "was born out of a visceral impulse to promote unity, commitment and action during this epic and critical showdown of power versus people in the USA and our world today. May human decency prevail."
A lyric video for the song "Beautiful World Of Mine" from the upcoming release was launched Tuesday (March 3). Gilkyson said she wrote the song looking out the window of her Taos home.
Visit elizagilkyson.com for more information and tour updates. The artist says a show in Taos is in the cards.
In order to read our site, please exit private/incognito mode or log in to continue.