Folk artist/activist ELIZA GILKYSON shares first single from her new album, HOME
“The beauty of the song lies in its joyous affirmation of the strength of the soul, which emanates from facing down the injustices that surround it.” —Folk Alley
The two-time Grammy nominee returns with a stirring album of songs celebrating home and hearth on June 23, 2023 — Guests include Robert Earle Keen, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Tony Gilkyson, and Van Dyke Parks
May 16, 2023: Today, two-time folk Grammy nominee Eliza Gilkyson is sharing the first single, the “brightly ethereal” (Folk Alley) “Safety Zone, from her new album, Home, set for released June 16 on her own imprint, Realiza Records. Premiering today, the song came about after a bad accident Eliza suffered at last year’s Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas.
“I left my car in gear when I pulled up and got halfway out of the car, which rolled forward and dragged me down a dirt road, over a low rock wall and into a tree,” she recalls. “I don’t know why I didn’t die, and when I re-live it the math just doesn’t add up, like how did I survive that? It felt miraculous, still does.”
Folk Alley‘s Henry Carrigan writes, “Gilkyson conveys the unearthliness of the scene of her accident … the song patters along Gypsy jazz, Django Reinhardt-like rhythm guitar strums while Don Richmond’s resonator guitar lines and Ray Bonneville’s moaning harp notes weave under and around each other, creating a spooky reverberation as the song slowly unfurls. The gospel-inflected chorus features a call and response structure that affirms the power of universe that protects the singer from harm, at least in this moment.”
Home reunites Eliza with producer/multi-instrumentalist Don Richmond and features a wide range of songs that reflect Eliza’s appreciation for family, home and hearth, in a time when those things have become essential to maintain sanity and decency.
Cameos include a gorgeous duet with Robert Earl Keen, “How Deep,” that asks some of life’s important questions, and a sweet duet with longtime friend Mary Chapin Carpenter, “Sparrow,” on the appreciation a songwriter feels for their fans and friends who inspire their songs into being.
Other standout tracks include the upbeat and hopeful “World Keeps on Singing,” the gospel tinged “Safety Zone,”and the stripped-down love song “Witness,” which features Eliza’s brother, renowned L.A. musician Tony Gilkyson (X, Lone Justice, Chuck E. Weiss) on soulful electric guitar. In the harmony-laden “Sunflowers,” she imagines a Ukrainian mother’s wish for normalcy and safety. And in the epic storytelling ballad “Man in the Bottle,” she features snippets of her dad’s songs — hit songwriter Terry Gilkyson (“Bare Necessities) — played by the Southwest’s beloved Western dance band, The Rifters, and longtime family friend Van Dyke Parks, who played in an early incarnation of her dad’s band “The Easy Riders” when he was just a teenager.
The album wraps up with the title track “Home.” Written by Karla Bonoff, the song reflects on the ways that home can be a sanctuary in the most difficult times.
Eliza says, “The pandemic changed our lives and our world forever, illuminating the sanctity of home and hearth, of trusted friendships and family, and a new deeper appreciation for the many little blessings we may have taken for granted before this cataclysmic shift occurred. It has been a time of terrible loss and insecurity about the future, as well as one of newfound resolve, connection and commitment. These songs were born out of all these conflicting forces coming into play while trying to find the balance.”