The daughter of successful songwriter Terry Gilkyson, Eliza is a third generation musician who grew up in Los Angeles knowing that her life would revolve around music. “I got into it for all the wrong reasons, more as a survival tool than anything else, but it proved to serve me more than I dared to imagine.” As a teenager, she recorded demos for her father, an accomplished songwriter whose Eliza Gilkyson livesongs have been covered by artists as diverse as Dean Martin, Johnny Cash (“Memories Are Made of This”) and the White Stripes (“Look Me Over Closely”), and whose credits include such standards as “Greenfields,” “Marianne” and “The Bare Necessities ” (from the Disney film Jungle Book).
At the end of the sixties, she moved to New Mexico with likeminded souls, eventually raising a family, all the while developing a loyal fan base in the Southwest and Texas. After starting her own record label, Realiza Records, she put out Misfits in 1999, a collection of outtakes that received favorable press as a sound that connected the worlds of folk and modern storytelling. In 2000, Eliza released her first album on the Red House Records label, the critically acclaimed Hard Times in Babylon. In 2004 Eliza released Land of Milk and Honey, an album that was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Contemporary Folk Album. The CD is decidedly socio/political in nature, from the Iraq War awareness plea, "Hiway 9," to the call for peace in Woody Guthrie's previously unrecorded and timely peace anthem, "Peace Call," a track featuring vocals by friends and fellow artists Patty Griffin, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Iris DeMent.
August of 2005, brings Gilkyson’s most personal album to date, Paradise Hotel, featuring songs that artfully reveal the roots of her progressive patriotism, comment on the direction our world is headed and peal back the thin layers obscuring the heart of what matters in these complex times. Eliza has recently appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered, Austin City Limits and on tour with Patty Griffin and Mary Chapin Carpenter. In February of 2003, Gilkyson was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame. The induction places Gilkyson alongside an exclusive list of Austin Music Hall of Fame greats, including Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, Nanci Griffith, Billy Joe Shaver, Butch Hancock, Joe Ely and others. Eliza will be touring throughout North America in support of her new album.