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Eliza Gilkyson

Lost And Found – 2002 (Red House)

Reviewed by Michael Berick

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CDs by Eliza Gilkyson

Eliza Gilkyson's image, over the years, has been that of a folkie with a slight New Age bent. It's a delightful discovery to find her now mining a decidedly gritty, rootsy sound. She's following down a similar musical road as Lucinda Williams does; however, she diverges from Williams by imbuing her tunes with a more upbeat spirit.

The country blues-style "Mama's Got A Boyfriend" celebrates a relationship that's "a pretty good thing". While songs like "Fall Into The Night," "Richmond Boy" and "Heart Of A Man" suggest that Gilkyson has found love, she has lived long enough not to coat this numbers in saccharine. Her personal lyrics also extend to family matters. Her exquisite "Easy Rider" is a moving eulogy to her late father, the popular '50s folk singer Terry Gilkyson. Joining her on this familial tune are her son Cisco and her brother Tony, an in-demand Southern California guitarist.

Gilkyson has created a substantive work here, setting her heartfelt lyrics in a twangy sound that's both tough and tender. If Lucinda Williams ever makes a "happy album," it might sound something like this.