Review: Gilkyson, Gorka & Kaplansky – Red Horse

Red Horse big.jpg

by Jim Blum

Eliza Gilkyson, John Gorka & Lucy Kaplansky
Red Horse
(Red House Records)

LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh did it. Why stop at basketball? Three superstar folk singers & writers have teamed up to record and tour. You may have missed the news until now, as there was no “Decision” TV show to make this musical announcement. I also don’t recall the “home” cities of these songwriters tearing down concert posters and burning their artist T-shirts. The resulting “team” however is certainly super.

The three take turns singing each other’s songs and they toss in a few favorites. John sings Lucy’s “Don’t Mind Me.” Lucy sings John’s “Blue Chalk,” a sorrowful observation about friends making poor choices. Eliza covers a song from very early in the Gorka library, “If I Could Forget to Breathe.” A highlight is Eliza’s “I Am a Child” from the Buffalo Springfield’s Neil Young. Duke Levine is the unsung hero of this album. The multi-talented musician sometimes plays 4 instruments on one song; on the albums closer, “Wayfaring Stranger” sung by Kaplansky, Duke plays acoustic guitar, lap steel, mandola and baritone electric guitar. In typical Levine fashion, none of this is for show, it’s all about support.

Unlike their basketball counterparts, I expect these three to return to their own careers and their own cities. And the only heartbreaking going on will be caused by the words of a sad song, or the touching delivery. Ahh… if professional sports could only learn from us.

(Jim Blum resides in northeast OH….in case that isn’t obvious.)

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