Eliza Gilkyson, our Unplugged on The Front Porch artist this April, needs no introduction for true Texas music aficionados. Inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 2003, Glikyson holds two Grammy nominations, as well as four Austin Music Awards and and four Folk Alliance Music Awards. With an enduring music career that has brought the world an astounding 20 albums over four decades, it’s no wonder that Eliza Gilkyson’s songs have been covered by artists like Joan Baez and Roseanne Cash, or that she still plays a dedicated 150 shows a year for audiences all over the world. We’re thrilled she’s been able to make room in her busy touring schedule to spend a night with us on The Front Porch in Austin, Texas, her hometown since 1981.
SPECIAL NOTE: Because Eliza is busy touring her Grammy-nominated album, The Nocturne Diaries (2014), we were unable to lock down a thirdThursday date in which to invite her to our listening room. Instead, Eliza will perform on the final Thursday of the month, April 30th.
Eliza’s father, famed singer-songwriter Terry Gilkyson, got her involved with music early in life, and she sparked her career as a recording artist by performing on his demos as a teenager. Her first solo album was released in 1969. Her brother also stuck with the family business, and remains today an accomplished studio guitarist, most notably picking out the rhythms of Johnny Cash for the Hollywood hit, Walk the Line. And her son, Cisco Rider, who helps make up a third generation of Gilkyson musicians, produced his mother’s most recent, Grammy-nominated album, The Nocturne Diaries.
Aside from her career as a performing artist, Eliza also finds time to engage herself in the Austin community. A testament to the activist message often present in her songwriting, Eliza co-founded the local political local resource center, 5604 Manor, a hub that promotes political activism and community involvement around issues of race, patriarchy and global injustice. She also hosts annual songwriting camps for aspiring musicians at her residence near Taos, New Mexico, proving herself active player in crafting strong storytellers in generations to come. We feel honored and humbled to have the opportunity to explore the mind of a Texas music legend at this special Unplugged on The Front Porch event on April 30th.
Providing regular opportunities for Austin folks to engage with exceptional musicians in an acoustically exquisite venue– the sanctuary at All Saints’ Episcopal Church– Unplugged on The Front Porch invites all devoted listeners to gather in one spot on a monthly basis to venerate our city’s best musical storytellers. In just two short hours, our listening experience reaches into the hearts and minds of these musicians as we explore with them not only their art but also their life experiences and opinions in our intimate gathering characterized by both music and conversation.
Each edition of Unplugged on The Front Porch features an hour an a half of music divided into two sets, a fifteen-minute interview with the artist, and a fifteen-minute intermission. Every concert is taped, and we ask for a donation of $10-$20 at the door that goes directly toward paying our crew and our artists the living wages they deserve. Unplugged on The Front Porch is generated and sustained by two local nonprofits– Live Music Capital Foundation and The Front Porch– who decided to look for ways to make listening in our community more intentional.