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Eliza Gilkyson

Your Town Tonight – 2007 (Red House)

Reviewed by Jason MacNeil

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CDs by Eliza Gilkyson

This aptly titled live album from singer-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson is a consistently warm affair as she brings her stellar songs to the concert stage. And while many often suffer from strong songs that fall flat in concert, Gilkyson takes solid tunes like the rootsy "Beauty Way" and "Green Fields," the former resembling a cross between Lucinda Williams and Patty Griffin and the latter a haunting cover of one of her daddy's (Terry) tunes.

Gilkyson sways from a sweet, old-time strolling country romp like "Dark Side Of Town" with the same grace and ease she nails the politically charged "Tender Mercies" that has traces of Emmylou Harris within. Just as pleasing is the cover of Dylan's often-underrated "Jokerman," which she delivers perfectly.

Other highlights here (and there are several) include the folksy "Rose Of Sharon" and the Americana-tinged "Tennessee Road" that is basically Gilkyson, her well-crafted lyrics and a melody that is hard to resist. The homestretch continues down this golden path with the thoughtful, barren "Hard Times In Babylon" and the lighter, toe-tapping "Lights Of Santa Fe." But perhaps the cream of the crop for Gilkyson is the gorgeous and stunning "Easy Rider."