Artist: Eliza Gilkyson
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Release Date: July 13
Label: Red House Records
In Her Words: A hymn to the unknown, to the great mystery, to a higher intelligence, to the best part of oneself, to the natural world, to the collective. I purposefully never say who or what it is because that’s not for me to impose, and my imperative in creating this collection of songs was to be inclusive of all people who find spiritual meaning within or outside of traditional religious belief systems.
I never thought of this song as having gospel potential until Pastor Sam Butler, who sang, produced and played guitar with the Five Blind Boys of Alabama for 25 years, recorded it for his album, Raise Your Hand. Once I heard his version I could never hear it another way, so I invited him to take a verse on my new record, Secularia, which is a collection of what I call my “secular hymns.”
It has been so fulfilling to consider the song treatment in this light, and I am honored to have Sam sing it with me here. He brought in the other singers, David Hurst (tenor harmony vocal) and Darryl Boudreaux (bass harmony vocal), who are well-known gospel singers in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area where we recorded the vocals.
Photo credit: Todd Wolfson