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Eliza Gilkyson — Dark Side of Town
Album: Land of Milk and Honey
Avg rating:
6.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 717









Released: 2004
Length: 5:08
Plays (last 30 days): 1
He was the black sheep of the family
How did mama's pride and joy
Go from such a precious baby
To the devil's poster boy
I'm gonna slick my hair like Elvis
Roll my cuffs like Jerry Lee
If the backbeat's born in hell
Then that's the place I want to be

Gonna be a midnight rider
Gonna burn my candle down
Followin that drivin' beat
To the dark side of town

From the barrooms of Deep Ellum
To the crashpads on the bay
He spiraled slow and steady
Down a lonely blue hiway


I'm gonna chase my beer with whiskey
Stick a needle in my skin
Gonna celebrate the mystery
Of the hole I've fallen in

'Cause I'm a midnite rider
Gonna burn my candle down
Followin' that drivin' beat
To the dark side of town

He loved that funky music
He knew the backroad scenes
Every barbeque and blues band
Between here and New Orleans

He put down the bottle
October '89
Eased up on the throttle
bought him a little time


But he was a midnite rider
He burned that candle down
Hangin' out on easy does it street
On the dark side of town

Big Al settled down
Along the banks of Onion creek
With a pickup and a hound dog
And a little lucky streak

He nursed that fragile frame
Through the hurricanes and drought
It was a summer wind that came
And blew the candle out

But he was a midnite rider
He burned that candle down
Followin that drivin' beat

To the dark side of town

Oh you midnite rider
I know you're still around
Hangin' out on easy street
On the dark side of town

On the dark side of town
Comments (104)add comment
 bam23 wrote:

What song are you hearing? If this glorifies drug use (anyway, what drugs do you have in mind?), it surely doesn't paint a very positive image! I often wonder how different folks hear such disparate "messages" in what are, after all, songs. This is a fine composition in my opinion. It glorifies the song writer, indirectly.
 
Calm down. This is not an endorsement of drugs. Just an observation artistically rendered. If you lived her life it would resonate more. Just as many of us share her lived experience.


 txoxspain wrote:
those exact lyrics make me uncomfortable...
 

I hear you! Could be about me, 'cept for a couple or three details; like that I'm still above ground and whatnot. 

Yet another fabulous artist RP has introduced me to. I'm enjoying everything I've heard from Eliza.
those exact lyrics make me uncomfortable...
Who is this song about? The constant use of 'he' and life details strongly implies the song is about a specific person, but I can't guess guess who. Am I just being thick? Is it obvious to everybody else?
 thewiseking wrote:
glorifying drug use isn't helpful and it isn't art. as a matter of fact, those who have lived through it seldom glorify it in their art. they leave the poseurs to do that
 
What song are you hearing? If this glorifies drug use (anyway, what drugs do you have in mind?), it surely doesn't paint a very positive image! I often wonder how different folks hear such disparate "messages" in what are, after all, songs. This is a fine composition in my opinion. It glorifies the song writer, indirectly.
glorifying drug use isn't helpful and it isn't art. as a matter of fact, those who have lived through it seldom glorify it in their art. they leave the poseurs to do that
 Jackson_Feelgood wrote:
Not fan of brass in a folk song. I have most of her work and if it was my choice i wouldnt be promoting this particular track.

 
That's the best part about RP - it's not a "best of" playlist.  I've been fond of Eliza, too, for 30 or more years, but have never heard this great tune.
Engaging lyrics...
He put down the bottle October ‘89
Eased up on the throttle bought him a little time ....


Not fan of brass in a folk song. I have most of her work and if it was my choice i wouldnt be promoting this particular track.
 lily34 wrote:
can't believe it, but i like this.
 
{#Biggrin}
Some songs just defy the labels people put on them. I also think that this stands alone and is great.
can't believe it, but i like this.
Thought this was Jill Barber at first - I heard she had a new CD out.
Very nice sound have to buy it now.....
In addition to Deep Ellum (in Dallas) she mentions Onion Creek, which runs through far-south Austin. Used to have some juke joints hidden away down there. Starting to gentrify a little now though.
 Cynaera wrote:
I've heard this song before, by someone else... (I have CRS - Can't Remember Sh!t), but Ms. Gilkyson's voice is just the right mix of husky, sexy, and clearproud. I'd pay to see her in concert. Love this song - those snazzy horns and the slacker-drumming... Yep - good song.
 

Maybe Dobie Gray? Best known for his 1973 smash "Drift Away,"

I really like Eliza, there is something about her voice (as you said, "husky, sexy and clearproud.") and style that atracts me to her music.
 Stingray wrote:
Another girl with cowboy hat...?

Not good for my liking!

(Girls AAAAND music!!)
Always appreciate an opinion, positive or negative, that comes from life experience and the considered analysis of the subject.

Hey, this is very nice!
Blue highways, reference to William Least-Heat Moon's book of the same name. Small, little used highways were once printed in blue ink on US maps. A wonderful travelogue. laprincessa, Deep Ellum, indeed. Wasn't always a hipster entertainment district, as you well know.

Marginal echoes of Lucinda Williams.
I've heard this song before, by someone else... (I have CRS - Can't Remember Sh!t), but Ms. Gilkyson's voice is just the right mix of husky, sexy, and clearproud. I'd pay to see her in concert. Love this song - those snazzy horns and the slacker-drumming... Yep - good song.
She said Deep Ellum.
 Poacher wrote:
I think there should be a rating 'inoffensive as long as it is only played occasionally'
  Brilliant idea!

 Stingray wrote:
Another girl with cowboy hat...?
Not good for my liking!
(Girls AAAAND music!!)
 
Stingray. . . you are a bit of a twunt sometimes. 

(Nice tune btw. . . I think there should be a rating 'inoffensive as long as it is only played occasionally')

This was great, and I love the funky brass. From a reader below, it looks like she's playing with the amazingly talented Nina Gerber who we frequently saw in parts of Northern CA over the years...I hope that they both return soon
Another girl with cowboy hat...?

Not good for my liking!

(Girls AAAAND music!!)
Great line in this song:

"If the backbeat's born in hell
Then that's the place I want to be"


me likey!
Encore, Encore! 


I love this.
 bobcat1963 wrote:
IMHO: Lucinda W is just a pose... compared to Eliza
 

apples and oranges....no reason to compare IMHO
Nice song, but I dont feel it in the performance.
Pluck uh Duck and Blow some Corn . . .    ;-)
IMHO: Lucinda W is just a pose... compared to Eliza
To update: She played the same venue, Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, last night and was exceptional. This song was performed, as well as most of her best. Eliza Gilkyson is a superb song writer who seems to attract old farts to her shows. What's wrong with the the younger folks today (hack, cough, wheeze) that such brilliance is overlooked? Anyway, very entertaining and she plays these days with Nina Gerber, a guitarist of remarkable subtlety as well as power and technique.
Lovely, how they, so effortlessly sounding and relaxed, present this song. The brass makes it extra special and melancholy in a nice way.
...too much conspicuous name-dropping for my tastes, like she's going out of her way to shout out to the bar crowds...maybe the song hails from an era before everywhere mentioned overdeveloped into cliche party stops?..
Eliza played the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley recently- great show, as usual. She performed a wonderful new song- the Party's Over, which will be featured on her CD in May. You can find youtube clips of this song if you're curious.
Great voice, nice song.
dixiedeb wrote:
I like this. She reminds me a little of Lucinda Williams.
I gotta say, Eliza's a much better artist than Lucinda. IMHO, of course. I find her voice better, her musical arrangements more complex, and Lucinda has a tendency to do that really annoying repetitive thing with bugs the hell out of me. Also, Eliza's a better live performer.
buckskin wrote:
SSSSSSSSSMOKIN' vocals. Great lyrics/story too. Not at all twangy (Reba, the Judds, Minnie Pearl - THEY TAWANGGGGGGG)
Those are some of the most packaged and processed entertainers in history,not just country music. Of course they fit every single stereotype,including the twang,the hair and the backgrounds. Rappers go "ho" Rednecks go "twang" Geeks go "woot" And Eliza just sang
reptillicus wrote:
Someone asked what/who this song is about. I happen to know that this song by Eliza Gilkyson is about her late husband, who was an alcoholic, partier, and drug user. I work with a guy who lives in Wimberley, Texas where she resides. He knows her and knew her late husband. Some of you may hate this song, but I find it really heart-wrenching -- especially now that I know how personal it is to her, and can only imagine how difficult it must have been to write, much less perform ! Austin music has long had country and western influences, so around here we're used to a fairly complex fusion of styles and sounds. It's what makes music in this area so unique.... Austin, Texas
I saw Lyle Lovett w/ Ely, Clark, and Hiatt on the Songwriters tour last Friday. It was great. I have to say, the songs that tell a real story, like this one and those of Lovett and friends, seem to stay truer to the country roots, and its lovely. A lot of big corporate country stations unfortunately have fallen down on the job of delivering this kind of music. Thankfully there is RP and other FM radio alternatives. Real music should not be silenced!
I like this. She reminds me a little of Lucinda Williams.
SSSSSSSSSMOKIN' vocals. Great lyrics/story too. Not at all twangy (Reba, the Judds, Minnie Pearl - THEY TAWANGGGGGGG)
highwindows wrote:
OK - if you're a C&W fan I guess! :stop:
I am not AT ALL a C&W fan, but I really like this. Let's hear more! :guitarist:
Not much on twangy women vocals but I do like this one.
Love the horns on this, that sound reminds me of the Band, sad and bittersweet.
Someone asked what/who this song is about. I happen to know that this song by Eliza Gilkyson is about her late husband, who was an alcoholic, partier, and drug user. I work with a guy who lives in Wimberley, Texas where she resides. He knows her and knew her late husband. Some of you may hate this song, but I find it really heart-wrenching -- especially now that I know how personal it is to her, and can only imagine how difficult it must have been to write, much less perform ! Austin music has long had country and western influences, so around here we're used to a fairly complex fusion of styles and sounds. It's what makes music in this area so unique.... Austin, Texas
frig it's going to be hard to make it through the work day with music like this
highwindows wrote:
OK - if you're a C&W fan I guess! :stop:
I like both kinds of music, country and western! Actually I'm not a big fan of either, I just love that joke
I love this lady's voice... great songwriter. Had a chance to see her at the Blue Door here in OKC last year.
Saw her at the Philly Folk Fest where she was nothing at all like this song...
underarmor wrote:
this ain't country partner
whatever it is.. just make it go away...
highwindows wrote:
OK - if you're a C&W fan I guess! :stop:
this ain't country partner
Sounds a bit like her papa !! Great singer-songwriting along with a bit of Jungle-Book style swing!! Peace - JG
ScottN wrote:
Is she any relation to Tony Gilkyson, former lead guitarist with X? Oh, ok. Probably not.
Not completely sure but I think she was married to him at one point.
:good-vibes: I wouldn't mind atall atall hearing this one more often! :dance:
OK - if you're a C&W fan I guess! :stop:
For pure entertainment value, this song can't be beat! Smooth, sultry and fun all in one!
papaya wrote:
I like this song!
I find out she is indeed related to Tony Gilkyson of X. They are siblings. And her father wrote On Top of Old Smoky. Would be nice to hear her more often on RP. ScottN wrote:
Is she any relation to Tony Gilkyson, former lead guitarist with X? Oh, ok. Probably not.
I like this song!
Shesdifferent wrote:
I emplore everyone who hates this song to listen to more of her stuff, her earlier works, she is a hidden treasure but this song is not a good representation of her work. Bill, come on.....you can do better by this artist! (as said in my previous post a few scrolls down)
I wouldnt say that I hate it, it has a nice smooth arrangement, nice jazzy horn, it's just kind of boring.
Good to hear an artist from my old town; Taos, New Mexico. Nice tune
Is she any relation to Tony Gilkyson, former lead guitarist with X? Oh, ok. Probably not.
Uh... when will it end again? :puke:
ploafmaster wrote:
Blech. I'm not judging the artist's entire catalogue here, but this song I do not like.
I emplore everyone who hates this song to listen to more of her stuff, her earlier works, she is a hidden treasure but this song is not a good representation of her work. Bill, come on.....you can do better by this artist! (as said in my previous post a few scrolls down)
runchadrun wrote:
This one of those songs that are like nails on a chalkboard to me. I ALWAYS hit the pause button when this song comes on.
I'm glad to read that I'm not the only one that seems to have a "knee jerk" reaction to this song.. here it is some 5 + hours later after the song played, and only now am I coming back to RP .. this song so evokes digust and hatred in me for just having heard some of it. I would wish this for everyone.. that we could have a limited number of songs to have on our "alert before it plays" list, so that when it is about to be played, we can kill the speakers or hit stop for the few minutes its on... that way I wouldn't miss out on the rest of the good to excellent songs that get played after it or in the 5 hours of RP I've missed. :oops:
Wow... god I love that one. Does anyone know who it's about? Sounds like it could be someone in particular, like Johnny Cash or somesuch. Just love the lazy, slinky vibe as well as the lyrics.
Blech. I'm not judging the artist's entire catalogue here, but this song I do not like.
start with her album - hard times in babylon. it's her best!
she is awesome. so authentic!
:yell: Gawd, I LOVE this track! Why don't I have any of her CDs?!? :stupid:
segueman wrote:
This is an artist you can't judge by one song. .
Absolutely....and this is not even one of her better songs. RP needs to play more Eliza Gilkyson-Pilgim has some great cuts like "Calling All Angels" or "Material Man", not to mention the CD "Legend of Rainmaker" and "Through the Looking Glass" c'mon RP lets add some of these!
Fun! Not really my type, but I grinned and tapped my foot.
phineas wrote:
C'mon ---- I bet you sang along!
nope
For all the Shawn Colvin and Lucinda comments I must add that I saw Eliza open for Eric Johnson here in Houston at Rockerfellas in the late 80's. Way before I'd heard of Shawn or Lucinda. I immediately went out and bought her first album "Pilgrams", which had much more texture than anything she's done since. ...and nothing like Shawn or Lucinda. This is an artist you can't judge by one song. I'll put her on the list of songs I need to upload and hopefully do something about that soon.
This one of those songs that are like nails on a chalkboard to me. I ALWAYS hit the pause button when this song comes on.
Thought sure it was Lucinda Williams until I looked.
Art_Carnage wrote:
Love the Deep Elum reference. Her father wrote "Bear Necessities" and scores of other songs for Disney.
i can hear that bare necessities! missed the deep ellum reference though, ....missing dallas...
Love the Deep Elum reference. Her father wrote "Bear Necessities" and scores of other songs for Disney.
Lucinda Williams does this much, much, much better.
TreborG2 wrote:
That says a lot ..... consider this though, I rate this a 1 ... this song disgusts me.. its a gutteral feeling slow drawn out slightly twanged piece of garbage in my world. I rank it up there with the common feeling I get when I hear the atypical Bob Dylan songs with his acc-en-TU-atedness and whine.. I hear this song.. and instantly I'm repulsed enough to leave for a while..
Honestly, I think thats being a bit too harsh. Its not "garbage" but it certainly isnt anything all that spectacular. A 5 in my book.
jand8595 wrote:
one of austin's best.
shawn colvin's from austin. well, she lives there now. she's from n. dakota or some place, originally. come to think of it, parts of her vocals sounds like shawn. (to me, anyway.)
jand8595 wrote:
one of austin's best.
That says a lot ..... consider this though, I rate this a 1 ... this song disgusts me.. its a gutteral feeling slow drawn out slightly twanged piece of garbage in my world. I rank it up there with the common feeling I get when I hear the atypical Bob Dylan songs with his acc-en-TU-atedness and whine.. I hear this song.. and instantly I'm repulsed enough to leave for a while..
one of austin's best.
this song plods along in a really grating way. can't get into it, sorry.
Lame and overplayed. It's going to drop from my original rating of 4 before long....
Getting pretty sick of this song. It's OK, but how about playing it more like once a month instead of 2 or 3 times per day?
Oooh, and my streak of '9's comes to a halt with this one. This,....this is ....a 6. And that's....okay....
masterhead wrote:
Underarted? I wonder why... :-k Maybe ..because....she actually SUCKS!
That was a very bad comment...really bad... I apologize...It is not my musical style but the music is actually great
cdemon wrote:
saw her open for Mary Chapin Carpenter, she did a audience sing along of the bear necessities. woo-woo. Lucinda lite.
C'mon ---- I bet you sang along!
I thought she kinda sounded like Bonnie Rait. That's who I thought it was at first. I don't know why people slag this song, it's not near as bad as some of the dreck out there.
Reminiscent of Loretta Lynn
masterhead wrote:
Underarted? I wonder why... :-k Maybe ..because....she actually SUCKS!
saw her open for Mary Chapin Carpenter, she did a audience sing along of the bear necessities. woo-woo. Lucinda lite.
samiyam wrote:
One of the most underrated musicians on the scene today!!
Underarted? I wonder why... :-k Maybe ..because....she actually SUCKS!
SiniLMan wrote:
I'm hearing a grown-up Lisa Simpson.
I LOVE IT! :clap: You're a nut ya know. :smile:
Crank it up. What a dark tune. You can't tell me your foot is not tapping. I see it. :motor:
I'm hearing a grown-up Lisa Simpson.
someone please make it stop
samiyam wrote:
One of the most underrated musicians on the scene today!!
I didn't underrate her. I gave her an 8!
One of the most underrated musicians on the scene today!!
The site jammed while this song was playing, so it's now being repeated. I didn't care for the first few bars of the song, but started to like it a lot by the time it was finished. So, it's great to hear Eliza all over again!
Great to hear Eliza on RP! Legends of Rainmaker is such a great album, most of it is inspired by Native American culture. I like her recent work as well...thanks for playing this.