Eliza Gilkyson

It should come as no surprise that Eliza Gilkyson has become an elder stateswoman of Southwestern folk as well as a paragon of quality in a field littered with mediocre mush. Her father, Terry, was an original folk revivalist who wrote the classic "Greenfields," and her guitar-playing brother distinguished himself by stepping into the huge shoes of Billy Zoom when he replaced the original X guitarist. And now Eliza's son, percussionist-drummer Cisco Ryder, helps out handily on her latest CD, Land of Milk and Honey.

Milk and Honey continues the satisfying artistic roll Gilkyson has been on on her most recent discs. At first blush, her music may seem to have the New Age soy-curd smoothness of much contemporary folk, but it also has the protein one expects to find there. And in these war-weary times, her take on Woody Guthrie's "Peace Call" -- on which she's joined by Patty Griffin, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Iris DeMent -- should be blared from both the Washington Monument and the highest minaret in Baghdad. She may not quite be making folk music for the ages -- that could still happen -- but Gilkyson is making folk music for our age quite well.

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Rob Patterson