Texas Music Hall of Fame member Gilkyson is well-known to folk fans for songs including Peace Call, Calling All Angels and When the Great Correction Comes. In 2004, she received a Grammy nomination for Land of Milk and Honey, and in 2008, Joan Baez included two of Gilkyson's songs, Rose of Sharon and Requiem, on her studio album Day After Tomorrow. Gilkyson's start in the music industry goes way back — to birth, actually. Born in Los Angeles, she is the daughter of Academy Award-winning songwriter Terry Gilkyson, who penned Bare Necessities for Disney's Jungle Book in 1967.
What's on your nightstand?
My reading is on my Kindle. I've got The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, and because of my songs and songwriting, I'm constantly reading political books.
How do you pick and choose the books for your pleasure reading?
I'm constantly reading book reviews. If it sounds interesting, I grab it.
As a songwriter, what comes first, the lyrics or the music?
The music seems to come first, and I wait for the lyrics to come after. It's less wooden that way.
And what political book do you recommend?
Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer by Phyliss Bennis. I like the way she lays it out so easily for the reader.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer