Review: A River Runs Through It for Eliza Gilkyson
Eliza Gilkyson /River Wind Songs/Red House
4.5 out of five stars
Eliza Gilkyson came naturally through her songwriting skills. Her father, Terry Gilkyson, was a successful songwriter in the 1950s and 60s, as well as an Oscar-nominated singer and longtime composer of Disney film scores. Eliza made her recording debut on some of her father’s demos before embarking on her own career at the age of 19. Like her brother Tony, a member of bands X and Lone Justice, she has excelled making music ever since.
His new album, River Wind Songs, finds the Grammy-nominated, multiple Austin Music Award and Folk Alliance Music Award-winning singer-songwriter harnessing her muse with renewed purity and passion. Where his most recent efforts have addressed the darkness and despair wrought by political misdeeds, in particular, this new set of songs is immersed in spirituality and celebration. It was inspired by her recent move to New Mexico, the place she grew up and has called home at various intervals since. It is, after all, a setting for which she has always had a special affinity, and as a result, this new set of songs conjure up images that resonate remarkably accordingly. It’s a tribute to his love of the American West and the joy of living in a country that provides sustenance and stability in an otherwise tumultuous time.
“Oh, I’ve been a wanderer, wandering from town to town,” she sings on the seductive autobiographical opener “Wanderin’.” “Singing for my supper, without thinking of settling down…”
Likewise, “Buffalo Gals Redux” takes a traditional cowboy vibe and reworks it from a female perspective. The same can be said of another old western standard, “Colorado Trail,” a song that effectively captures a romantic reflection of life at the end of the horizon. Likewise, Gilkyson’s original swaying sweet “Farthest End” provides its own evocative imagery, as does “Charlie Moore,” a gently pinched tale, paints its image of a dreamer and wanderer who personifies the true loner. , the backcountry explorer and adventurer. .
Evocative and seductive, the title track and “Before the Great River Was Tamed” further testify to Gilkyson’s love of his western surroundings. At the same time, “At the Foot of the Mountain” and “The Hill Behind This House” celebrate the solitary serenity found in those fabulous surroundings that Gilkyson is so happy to call home.
In fact, each entry has the effect of transporting the listener to the royal realms of Gilkyson. A heartfelt tribute in its entirety, River Wind Songs is, in fact, one of the most evocative offerings imaginable. It is, to sum up, a most exquisite collection.
Photo courtesy of Propeller Publicity