MFMF brings Gilkyson to Mission

Eliza Gilkyson will be playing at St. Andrew’s United Church on Monday

Eliza Gilkyson will be playing at St. Andrew’s United Church on Monday

Eliza Gilkyson’s first studio album in three years will be released next month, and local music lovers might get a preview when the talented singer/songwriter performs here April 18.

Her music reflects her vivid vision of the world around her and the songs on Roses at the End of Time are no exception. Her subjects range from the universal, as in the Mexican based corrido Vayan al Norte, already hailed as a modern-day Deportees, and Once I Had a Home, a reflection on Palestine that taps into all humankind’s longing for place, to the deeply personal and achingly vulnerable love song Roses at the End of Time.

There is also a poignant collection of fragmented memories of her mother in Belle of the Ball.

The new album also expands Gilkyson’s repertoire of socio-political commentary.

These days, political commentary is not limited to traditional folk music and radical folk music is coming out in every genre of music, making it a great time to experiment with ways to get meaningful perspectives across to a receptive public, said Gilkyson.

For the Texas-based musician, this meaningful perspective embraces sympathy for those who suffer at the hands of unfair economic and social systems, along with a recognition of the need to reinvent the ways we live our lives and a desire to connect the dots between our own complacency and the decline of our culture.

This is heavy stuff, but, as always with Gilkyson’s work, it is balanced with a sense of humor and an abiding love for the natural world.

Although she often claims her first goal in her music is to make great art, the overarching message of the storyteller-as-everyman in Roses at the End of Time is a gentle reminder for empathy.

Gilkyson grew up in California and New Mexico and is the daughter of songwriter Terry Gilkyson, known for compositions such as Greenfields, The Cry of the Wild Goose, and the Grammy Award-winning Bear Necessities.

Her musical upbringing included demos that she recorded of her father’s work, as well as other musical ventures. She moved to New Mexico in the late 1960s, where she began performing and touring regionally.

She later moved to Europe to work with composer Andreas Vollenweider. Returning to the USA in the late 1990s, Gilkyson began releasing a series of critically acclaimed solo albums and started her own label (Realiza Records) in 1999. A year later, she released an album on Red House Records, for whom she’s recorded ever since.

Gilkyson has released 14 CDs and toured extensively. She was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 2003. Her album Land of Milk and Honey was nominated for a Grammy Award. She performed at the Mission Folk Music Festival (MFMF) in 2001.

MFMF is bringing her back next week for an intimate performance at St. Andrew’s United Church, 7756 Grand St. at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance at Murdoch’s Book Shoppe on First Avenue or $25 at the door.

For more information about the concert, e-mail mfmfs@look.ca.