Eliza Gilkyson (from the album The Nocturnal Diaries) - The Nocturne Diariesis a meeting ground for Eliza Gilkyson. It is a place where her highest hopes and darkest fears face off. A line from Eliza sums up the stage where her songs to act out their tales, “for me, the challenge today is to remain human when everything around us compels us to shut down”.It is a possibility that we are joining Eliza GIlkyson at her bathroom mirror as she sings to her image, “Eliza Jane”, in front of a medicine cabinet full of bluegrass. Personal themes come up in “All Right Here” and the confession may be more self-analyzing as Eliza studies her actions to hopefully find the intentions she was trying to put into her life.
She wears the skin of others as she becomes a lead character crimped from headlines heralding one teenager’s rampage (“An American Boy”) and the prayers of an abused teenage-girl (“Not My Home”). It is the strength in Eliza Gilkyson’s voice that makes these songs all feel like first person narratives. She stands beside the definition of the Folk Musician, the traveling troubadour who takes the times from town to town in her stories, lovingly passing on news through her music.
Talking about the collection of songs, Eliza Gilkyson offered a lesson from the pen of a songwriter, “the songs that come in the night are very different then the daylight songs. Usually the big themes crop up in the dark – thoughts of mortality, the state of the world, the plight of mankind, one’s failures, losses and fears – the things we are too distracted to notice during the day. But the backdrop of shadows also can highlight the faces of the loving people who share your life with you, who care about the world, nature and humanity, who keep the fires of hope, humor and hearth burning bright in this time, who make your life meaningful and worthy of your best intentions.” Eliza goes to a folk standard, “Fast Freight”, painting the sound in 1950-era with an Americana brush that adds color to the original tune as done by her father’s band, Terry Gilkyson and the Easy Riders as well as The Kingston Trio, The Brothers Four and Tim Hardin. The Nocturne Diaries shares its secret of mutual affection for all sounds and ways of bringing them to life. “The Ark” takes today on board and places it in a dream fit for the Bible fables, set against traditional mid-eastern instrumentation and the R’n’R grit of “The Red Rose and the Thorn” boasts the first big electric guitar solo for Eliza, capably backed by rock’n’roll royalty with Ian McLagan on Hammond B3.