Eliza Gilkyson On Mountain Stage Acclaimed songwriter Eliza Gilkyson made her eighth visit to Mountain Stage to perform songs from her 2018 album, Secularia.
Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage
Eliza Gilkyson on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Eliza Gilkyson On Mountain StageWest Virginia Public Broadcasting

Eliza Gilkyson On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/811304482/811317758" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Austin, Texas songwriting royalty Eliza Gilkyson made her eighth visit to Mountain Stage last May with guest host Kathy Mattea.

Mattea gave the member of the Texas Music Hall of Fame and the Austin Music Hall of Fame a fitting introduction, calling her "a world class songwriter bearing beautiful and poetic witness to the difficult and the impossible."

Bearing gifts of redemption songs from her record Secularia, Gilkyson let her rich creative roots show, gently shaking the family tree for a sweet and gentle song about a night-singing mockingbird called "Solitary Singer." The album opener is based on a poem her grandmother Phoebe Hunter Gilkyson wrote in 1949; her dad Terry put it to music in 1951 and it would become a theme song for his radio show.

Gilkyson, who has been coming to Mountain Stage since 1989, called Secularia a collection of secular hymns she has been secretly hiding at the end of her records for years. With Mountain Stage's Julie Adams softly singing harmony vocals and Jim Henry on mandolin, Gilkyson offered up a gorgeous hymn about wandering and seeking out life's truths. "I'm living for the glimpses of life's holiness through the looking glass," she sang on "Through the Looking Glass."

Gilkyson, whose song "The Great Correction" was covered by Joan Baez on her latest album, shared two more hymns of hope: "Seculare," a song she wrote with Mark Andes praising some of the joys of everyday life (children, songs, hope and "the fishes brown and silver") and "Lifelines," co-written with Bellarosa Castillo. As Gilkyson can so deftly do, she wades through the darkness of reality to emerge hopeful in the power of community.

Gilkyson's next album, 2020, is slated for an April release on Red House Records.

Set List:

  • "Solitary Singer" (Terry Gilkyson)
  • "Through the Looking Glass" (Eliza Gilkyson)
  • "Seculare" (Eliza Gilkyson/Mark Andes)
  • "Lifelines" (Eliza Gilkyson/Bellarosa Castillo)


Eliza Gilkyson: acoustic guitar, vocals; Jim Henry: electric guitar, mandolin; Julie Adams: backing vocals.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Folk

Clem Snide with Scott Avett play a Tiny Desk (Home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Clem Snide With Scott Avett (Home) Concert

Clem Snide and Scott Avett play spiritually searching songs from Forever Just Beyond while maintaining social distancing for their Tiny Desk (home) concert.

Lankum plays a Tiny Desk concert. Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Bob Boilen/NPR


The award-winning Irish quartet performs three songs from its latest album, The Livelong Day, at the Tiny Desk.

Frances Quinlan plays a Tiny Desk concert. Kisha Ravi/NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Kisha Ravi/NPR/NPR

Frances Quinlan

The frontwoman of the indie-rock band Hop Along made her second appearance at the Tiny Desk, this time performing songs from her debut solo album.

Daughter of Swords plays a Tiny Desk concert. Max Posner/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Max Posner/NPR

Watch Daughter Of Swords Play The Tiny Desk

Alexandra Sauser-Monnig returns to the Tiny Desk with her band Daughter of Swords, showcasing new music as well as songs from 2019's gorgeous Dawnbreaker album.

Laura Marling plays a Tiny Desk Home concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Watch Laura Marling Play A Tiny Desk From Home

Laura Marling delivers an intimate performance of songs from her just-released record Song For Our Daughter in her living room.

Back To Top