Episode 172: Tony Gilkyson
Air date: 11.30.2016
If you want to know what a life well lived in the music business sounds like, give a listen to Tony Gilkyson. Graced with both innate talent and a supportive musical family, Gilkyson has served the muse well - from his own compositions to backing up Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, K.D. Lang, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Dave Alvin and countless others. Gilkyson is perhaps best known for a facile, country-tinged style on the guitar, but he also spent a decade playing punk music in X, exemplifying the fact that the best musicians spend less time differentiating between musical styles and instead let their playing do the talking. Fans of The Big Lebowski, the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line and All the King’s Men have heard Gilkyson’s guitar contributions as accompaniment on the big screen, and artists like Eleni Mandell and Chuck E. Weiss have tapped him as a producer. In conversation, Gilkyson is soft-spoken, and he measures his words like a taciturn southern father whose wisdom is parsed out in economical gems - much like his guitar playing - and when signing, his voice in an unorthodox tenor with equal parts Neil Young and wayward space cowboy. The man has been known to hang with Tom Waits, and any band would do well to study a bit of Gilkyson to learn how it’s done. Or better yet, hire him and get the real thing.