The first ever live CD from Austin singer/songwriter Eliza Gilkyson. A beautiful, exquisitely mastered recording, it finds her backed by her great band as well as Bluesman Ray Bonneville who makes an appearance. Eliza delivers stunning new takes on classics from her pre-Red House years, plus covers of Dylan's 'Jokerman', and her late father Terry Gilkyson's classic 'Green Fields'.
Eliza Gilkyson may not be as big a marquee name as fellow folkies Patty Griffin and Shawn Colvin, but her repertoire is no less well-crafted, cerebral, or darkly compelling ("Requiem"). This live recording--her first--captured largely in her adopted hometown of Austin, Texas, revisits her "best of" original songs ("Rose of Sharon") and serves up covers by her father Terry Gilkyson (the haunting "Green Fields," a hit for the Brothers Four) and Bob Dylan (a quieter version of "Jokerman" than she offered years ago). Gilkyson's spoken prattle is both wry and informative, and her touring band delivers just the right blend of emphasis and embroidery, never overpowering her smooth, dusky alto or upstaging her sometimes frighteningly intense lyrics ("Hard Times in Babylon"). The Grammy nominee doesn't sing a song so much as she inhabits a story, and she affects a kind of understated miracle with "Tennessee Road," making the poignant, if timeworn Elvis Presley saga seem utterly new and chilling in its first-person telling. Your Town Tonight
is a must-have for the Gilkyson faithful, and serves as a fine primer for the uninitiated. --Alanna Nash