Eliza Gilkyson Reviewed
Eliza GilkysonLost and Found (Red House) On Lost and Found, the follow-up to 2000's successful Hard Times in Babylon, Eliza Gilkyson appears to be an artist at the top of her game. Where Hard Times dealt with loss and trying times in the Austin songwriter's life, Lost and Found is filled with hope, confidence, and the satisfaction that those times are behind her. Once again, Gilkyson teams up with local studio vet Mark Hallman (Ani DiFranco, Carole King) as co-producer, and together they cook up an impressive array of musical backdrops to expand upon Gilkyson's soulful compositions. Starting with the infectious "Welcome Back," the singer segues into the humorous "Mama's Got a Boyfriend," immediately informing the listener that she's offering a different type of ride this time around. It continues through the mountain ballad "Richmond Boy," followed by electric dirge "Angel & Delilah," which is fueled by the guitar of ex-X guitarist/sibling Tony Gilkyson. Lost and Found overflows with many surprising moments, augmented by guest appearances from the likes of Patty Griffin, Gurf Morlix, Slaid Cleaves, Lloyd Maines, Rich Brotherton, and Jeff Klein. Appropriately enough, however, Gilkyson's songs and her distinctive vocals are the real stars here. Her songwriting has a Dylanesque quality as her tunes burst with edgy lyrics and poetic imagination. For example, on hymn-like album closer, "Riverside," she sings: "Saints and psychos, freaks and Indians, side by side worshipping all their gods and aliens." With a knowing eye on the past, Eliza Gilkyson is making folk music for the 21st century, and it's a delightful thing to hear.