Roses at the End of Time

Eliza Gilkyson

Eliza Gilkyson performs Friday, May 20, 7:30 p.m., at Manzanita Place.

Manzanita Place

1705 Manzanita Ave.
Chico, CA 95926

(530) 343-5617

We’re so awash in junk that it can be hard for quality work to gain the attention it should. Take, for example, the consistently intelligent lyrics written by Eliza Gilkyson, a singer/songwriter with the soul of a poet, a woman who renders emotion with raw honesty and encases those feelings in rich turns of phrase. “Blue Moon Night,” the song that leads off this collection, does what the best poems do as it reminds listeners of transcendent moments we too often overlook. And who but a poet like Gilkyson would write a song (“Slouching Towards Bethlehem”) that evokes William Butler Yeats without seeming pretentious and self-consciously “arty”? On a song like “Vayan al Norte,” she answers the nasty voices who blame migrant workers for all the nation’s problems, reminding us of the humanity we all share. In the most personally revealing song on the album, she describes herself as “a wanderin’ fool burnin’ fossil fuel … looking for a place where I can fall apart.” She speaks for all the road warriors who wear themselves out, exposing their hearts while carrying their music from town to town. Put this album in a time capsule. The songs collected here sound like the way we are.