Eliza Gilkyson and Christine Albert

Girlie Action

Texas Platters

Here's Eliza Gilkyson and Christine Albert, two May goddesses with a taste of summer's ripe bounty to come. At the Austin Music Awards in 2006, Gilkyson stood before a packed house with an armful of awards and declared that she was proudest of winning Best Folk Act. So when she announces, "I am just a troubadour, a tried and true believer," on "Clever Disguise," she's reminding us of precisely that. Which isn't to suggest that the Mark Hallman-produced Beautiful World (Red House) is a folk album. It's not. More stylistically adventurous than the divine local songstress has been since hitting her stride with 1997's Redemption Road, her latest is still innately political in all the right ways ("Great Correction," "Runaway Train") but unexpected in the jazzy "Unsustainable." Yet it's Gilkyson the folkie who's Queen Midas, "Rare Bird," "The Party's Over," and "Wildewood Spring" tenderly evoking local names like Mambo John Treanor, all gleam with the golden touch.

Texas Platters

Paris, Texafrance (MoonHouse) is Christine Albert's third recording in her utterly charming series of French songs recorded in Texas, accompanied by husband/partner Chris Gage whose production polishes this little gem. Albert's French heritage and Texas heart lend a rootsy feel to the covers that include those of popular French composer Charles Trenet ("Swing Troubadour," "Ya de la Joie"). There's plenty of Edith Piaf for fans of the Little Sparrow with "Chante-Moi," "Hymne à l'Amour," and "Don't Cry," but Albert avoids tribute territory with unexpected entries like Jesse Winchester's "L'air de la Louisiane" and "Un Prince en Avignon," inspired by a Walter Hyatt recording of the French traditional. Gage's choice in using spare instrumentation – sometimes only a piano – with Albert's lovely voice enhances Paris, Texafrance's warm summery feel. Many stars all around.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Eliza Gilkyson
Texas Platters
Eliza Gilkyson
Secularia (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, July 27, 2018

Margaret Moser Tribute: Eliza Gilkyson
Eliza Gilkyson
The best advice she ever received? Keep your dogs clean.

Belinda Acosta, June 30, 2017

More Christine Albert
Playback: In a New York State of Mind
Playback: In a New York State of Mind
Mother Falcon hits Gotham, Not in the Face sears Vancouver, and Black Joe Lewis comes home

Kevin Curtin, June 21, 2013

More Music Reviews
Paper Cuts: No Desire's Agile Debut and Five More Songs
Paper Cuts
New Austin music picks from francene rouelle, variety

Carys Anderson, Jan. 26, 2024

A Saucy, Seven-Course Musical at Boggy Creek Farm
A Saucy, Seven-Course Musical at Boggy Creek Farm
Jade Fusco’s activist interactive recruited members of Ley Line, BluMoon, and more

Carys Anderson, Nov. 24, 2023

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016


Eliza Gilkyson, Christine Albert

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle