Gilkyson comes to music and activism with an impressive pedigree; her father was folk artist Terry Gilkyson and her brother is California-based musician Tony Gilkyson. Eliza entered the music world as a teenager, recording demos for her father. Since then she has released over 20 recordings of her own, and her songs have been covered by such notables as Joan Baez, Bob Geldof, Tom Rush and Rosanne Cash. A member of the Austin Music Hall of Fame, she is an active member of the Austin music and political community.
“Political art in any form is most needed in times of authoritarian rule, which unfortunately have fallen upon us in the USA,” she says. “But these seeds were sown long ago in the great overarching power structures set in play since agrarian cultures sprang up. Our job as artists is cut out for us today: name those power structures, shine the light of truth upon them and appeal to the better angels of human nature to prevail, to ultimately rewrite the story of our future. It’s challenging and dangerous, fraught with inspiration and meaning in the camaraderie and the beauty of the struggle for human decency. May we make a joyful noise.”
Folksinger Eliza Gilkyson announces the release of her 20th album, Seculara. The long-awaited follow-up to Eliza’s 2015 Grammy-nominatedNocturne Diaries, Seculara is a collection of songs old and new that reflect Eliza’s ongoing search for meaningful spirituality without the constraints of traditional religious beliefs and outmoded ideology, a more inclusive perspective that encourages accountability and respect for all life in a culture that is struggling to find its way.
Produced by her son, Cisco Ryder (Nocturne Diaries, Red Horse, Roses at the End of Time), with a spare urban folk approach, the recording features songs of grief, gratitude and wonder that fit these uncertain times. Included are several songs adapted from poems by her grandmother, Phoebe Hunter Gilkyson, who co-wrote with Eliza’s father, folksinger Terry Gilkyson, in the 50s, a duet with the late Jimmy LaFave, along with cameos by Shawn Colvin and gospel singer Sam Butler (Keith Richards, Donald Fagan, Clarence Fountain).
Supporting musicians include Austin hometown favorites Chris Maresh (Eric Johnson), Warren Hood, Kym Warner (The Green Cards), the internationally-acclaimed Tosca String Quartet (David Byrne, Bob Schneider), Andre Moran, Mike Hardwick (Jon Dee Graham, Charlie Sexton), Betty Soo and more.”
“…This musical collection reflects my lifelong commitment to breaking out of the traditional “God-as Man” paradigm and freely pursuing a creative and meaningful life. The fall from grace and redemption of the soul in these songs are less about a deity or afterlife, or a heaven and hell than they are about the very human story of losing and finding oneself within the span of a lifetime, which is all I know for certain I’ve got.”