Puremusic interview with Eliza Gilkyson

After a productive and adventurous lifetime just under the radar, Eliza Gilkyson is progressively becoming a person who needs no introduction. I just spent the last weekend at Merlefest in NC, an Americana festival with 80,000 attendees, and saw her perform a handful of times, either playing her own songs with John Edmunds on guitar, or singing alongside people like Jimmy LaFave, Slaid Cleaves, Peter Rowan, and others.

On top of being an outstanding songwriter (sometimes with a political bent in recent years) she possesses one of those voices that on the one hand blends miraculously with others and yet is immediately recognizable. There is so much experience, emotion and intelligence in her voice that it's more than a pleasure to listen to; it's an education, in the best sense of the word.

(By the way, during our stay in Austin for SXSW, we were also lucky to run into Eliza's brother Tony, playing what seemed to be a pickup gig outside at a popular local hangout. The cat is unbelievable; you've got to check him out in our Videos section on the SXSW page.)

It's the year of Eliza; she swept the awards at Folk Alliance and at the Austin Music Awards. She's so self-effacing and right-sized about it that it really couldn't have happened to a better artist, or to a more deserving one. If you don't own a copy of Paradise Hotel, consider there to be something important missing from your collection.

It's rare to be asked into a subject's home for an interview; I was charmed by the opportunity, and by the atmosphere of her abode. In every way, she is precisely the kind of artist we like to get behind and bring to our readers. At some point, be sure to check out the clips on the Listen page, and make her music part of your own.   continue to interview