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Hard Times in Babylon


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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Eliza Gilkyson (vocals, acoustic guitar, kazoo, harmonica, organ); Matt Andes (acoustic & electric guitars, slide guitar, background vocals); Mike Hardwick (acoustic guitar, dobro); John Egenes (mandolin); Mark Hallman (accordion, background vocals): David Webb (Hammond B-3 organ); Glenn Fukunaga (bass); Rafael Gayol (drums); Randy McCullogh, Delia Castillo (background vocals).
  • Recorded at Congress House Studios, Austin, Texas.
  • Personnel: Eliza Gilkyson (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, harmonica, kazoo, pump organ); Mike Hardwick (acoustic guitar, dobro); Matt Andes (electric guitar, slide guitar, background vocals); John Egenes (mandolin); Mark Hallman (accordion, background vocals); Rafael Gayol (drums).
  • Recording information: Congress House Studio, Austin, TX.
  • Hard Times in Babylon marks Eliza Gilkyson's debut on Red House Records and shows this talented singer/songwriter in fine form. It is not a record full of insta-hits. That's not what Gilkyson is about. Her focus is on the craft of songwriting and making records. Both the songs and her voice sound warmly familiar, comforting, and timeless. "Coast" certainly lends itself to that description, as does "Engineer Bill." Lyrically, Gilkyson avoids the trite and clich‚d whenever possible, and achieves some real beauty with her words. Indeed, "Persephone" reads like any great poem should, and would not be lacking had it no melody. Gilkyson's band includes guitarists Matt Andes and Mike Hardwick, bassist Glenn Fukunaga, and drummer Rafael Gayol. Predictably, these guys are not the hotshot A-list players that grace the liner notes of Britney Spears or even Sting, but they are steady, solid, and tasteful, just like Gilkyson herself. It's admirable that artists like this exist, making the music they do and offering it up to the world without trying to be the next big trend. Rather, to artists of integrity like Gilkyson, music is in their blood and breath, and it shows. ~ Kelly McCartney
Professional Reviews
No Depression (3-4/01, pp.120-1) - "...A revelation, a bracing song cycle about the challenges of balancing art and eros..."
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