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POP MUSIC REVIEW : Gilkyson Deserves a Wider Hearing

August 27, 1993|DON HECKMAN

Eliza Gilkyson's show at the Troubadour on Tuesday was contemporary vocal music at its very best. The Taos, N.M.-based singer-songwriter has the talent, the style and the look of an emerging star.

Working with a laid-back but powerfully supportive quartet, she was in full control of the proceedings, alternatively humorous, soulful, sexy and pensive. The songs ranged in manner and substance across the complex pathways of Gilkyson's fertile imagination--from the tender balladry of "Last Dance" to the eloquent anger of "Lights of Santa Fe."

Among the many other attractive performances: her delicate rendering of the myth-tinged "When I Become the Moon"; her passionate reading of "Emmanuel"; and a small, focused, electrifyingly intense version of "Greenfields," the 1960 Brothers Four hit that was written by her father, Terry Gilkyson.

The only question mark of the evening was why such a gifted artist should make such a limited appearance. While the industry-oriented audience could revel in the opportunity to experience what amounted to an almost private recital, Gilkyson and her music clearly deserve a far wider hearing.

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