Written by Eddie Ferranti
Jan 22, 2010 at 07:30 PM
ImageRosie and I packed our bags and followed the music trail west to the nook and cranny town of LaGrange, Texas. Our destination was the bad ass venue called the Bugle Boy about 100 miles away to see the one and only Eliza Gilkyson.

We had ventured here a few times already and once this gig popped up we decided it was time to get back there. Nice call on our part, if I do say so myself. If you’ve never seen Ms.Gilkyson, you are missing an icon. She is the daughter of songwriter and folk musician Terry Gilkyson and Jane Gilkyson. Her brother is killer guitarist Tony Gilkyson, who played with the Los Angeles-based cowpunk bands Lone Justice and X, along with Randy Weeks.

EG has been putting out albums since 1969 and tonight featured her last 2 “Your Town Tonight” and “Beautiful World”. From the opening bell the sound was excellent in this fine listening room. Eliza knows how to fill in between her fine songs with a touch of personality that is a “no holds barred” kind of thing that has to be heard to get the whole feel.

Speaking about playing gigs in Canada, she spoke of patrons having trucks with “big ole tires” and giveaways of a year’s supply of antifreeze. Classics. Then she can turn on a dime and launch into a jewel like “Rose of Sharon,” which featured the smooth as butter guitar work of Mike Hartwig. This no smilin’, sumbitch is nails. Period.

A steady stream of chestnuts followed like “Little Darling”, “Price You Pay for Everything” and a touching dedication to another Austin icon, Stephen Bruton, (who passed away in 2009) “Black Sheep” and “Dark Side of Town”. This gig provokes adjectives like stunning and striking if you will. “Tender Mercies” was just that. Goose bumps type stuff to this reviewer. EG had the place whistling, singing, and clapping with Hartwig just murdering his slide guitar and it was just the first set.

The 2nd set had the crowd singing “1-2-3-4 Sing it to me” stuff right out of the shoot! Gilkyson asked for requests and my main man Captain Edwin’s “Richmond Boy” was done and followed by a quick rendition of the “breakup” version! “Rare Bird”  & “Hard Times in Babylon” were sweet. Mezmorizing show indeed. “Runaway Train” had a really nice in your face feel and beat. Hearing the heart felt tenderness when Eliza sang lyrics like “Come on down where wild birds sing” on “Wildewood Springs” made you actually feel like you were there!

I can’t say enough about the smooth mixture of Gilkyson and Hartwig performing at such a fine intimate concert hall. This former World War II army barracks has rapidly become a premier live music experience especially since they upgraded their seating. Comfortable as being at your Aunt’s house, and I mean that in a good way. Beer, wine and even most delicious milkshakes are offered by a beyond friendly staff. Lane Gosnay deserves a big slap on the back for her focus on giving the performers your undivided attention. Hell, LG has “Loose Lips Sink Ships” on a billboard as you enter! By the way, check the door knobs on this joint. Big old fashioned ones and the bathroom has a “hook” for a lock. Classic and cool.

In closing, Eliza seemed visibly impressed when informed that patrons had come from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Edinburgh, Scotland, and London, England to SEE her ! Hell, my group came from Houston and Pasadena and that seemed like walking across the street in comparison. All of this in a place that holds 80 or so folks. Impressive indeed boys and girls. If there ever was a “slam dunk” show, this was definitely one of them. Rosie, my bud Kenny Pipes, and myself have vowed to take a roadie much more often in the future to support the fine goings on out west! Y’all should too…Gotta go. God Bless…