(Rolling Sea Records)
Tony Gilkyson has been there and done that in the music world. His father, Terry Gilkyson, was a songwriter for the Disney Company who wrote well-known songs such as “Memories Are Made Of This” and “Green Fields.” Tony followed in his father’s footsteps carving out a career of his own in the music world. For ten years he was a member of the influential roots punk band X, and played with many of the California roots rock musicians of that time. Since then he has kept playing and producing, and has performed on many movie soundtracks leading up to his guitar work on the recent hit about John and June Carter Cash called ‘Walk The Line.” On his new album, “Goodbye Guitar,” he brings out his songwriting and singing front and center.
“Goodbye Guitar” is a rootsy album in the best tradition of uncluttered, non-corporate Americana music. Gilkyson writes seven out of the 11 tracks. The album starts off with “Mojave High,” a slide guitar-accented romp about a teenager about to finish high school while growing up in the desert, and it includes lines such as “living out here is like living on the moon,” and “I drive the same car that my daddy drove, and now I go to places that he used to go, it’s home, and you’ll never love a woman until you take her in these hills alone.”
Most of the album, however, is slower fare. While these songs come close to be on the maudlin side, all but a couple never get there because the approach is the right one. Gilkyson sings with within himself, showing confidence in the fine songs that he has written, and the instrumentation is just right. For instance, the song “Worthless” has the right mix of guitar, drums, bass, piano, pedal steel, and fiddle on it. It isn’t over-produced and has the feel about it that makes you think of it being played in a honky tonk out in the middle of nowhere, and it working. The real Gilkyson-penned gem on here is “Since The Well Ran Dry.” It has a familiarity about it that makes you think you have heard it many times somewhere in the past, and is a wonderful song to turn up loud. The album also features a kicked up version of Woody Guthrie’s “Old Cracked Looking Glass.”