Folk trio Red Horse will perform in Beaver Creek on Sunday.
“A lot of singer-songwriters, when grouped together, sing their own songs, but we thought it would be cool to do each other's songs instead,” Gilkyson said. “This way you try to make the song your own, inhabit it in a way.”
Although all three are singer-songwriters and play acoustic folk music, each member of Red Horse has a distinct sound and style. The camaraderie that comes about when they play together is reflected in their harmonies and on-stage chemistry.
“John writes about the culture, he's more of a storyteller,” Gilkyson said. “He's able to tap into a story. Lucy is more of heartfelt writer, she writes about what's going on around her, her family. [As for me] I don't want to be a one-trick pony.”
‘The older I get the less ... I know'
Gilkyson is best known for her political songs. One popular song, “Requiem,” was written as a response to the tsunami in Southeast Asia in 2004. For Gilkyson, writing political songs poses a number of challenges.
“First and foremost, you have to write a great song. People don't want to hear messages rammed at them. You want them to be engaged in a story first. Hopefully it touches a spot of empathy. People don't want to be preached at,” Gilkyson said.
A veteran in the folk music scene, Gilkyson has been touring and recording for almost 40 years. Getting older hasn't stopped Gilkyson from finding new modes of inspiration.
“As long as your growing yourself, I think the muse will entertain you. As you get older, you're more set in your ways. I find I really have to challenge myself,” Gilkyson said. “The older I get the less I realize I know.”
Making the stage their home
Edwards resident Betty Ann Woodland has seen both Gorka and Kaplansky in concert and has been a friend of Gorka's since seeing him play nearly 20 years ago.
“I met John in the early '90s at a folk festival in Estes Park,” Woodland said. “He jumped up on stage to do a duet with Nancy Griffith. I didn't know John from anybody, but after their performance I was a John fan forever. I saw him at the Vilar last year. He's great live because he draws you in; they make a lot of jokes, they do a great live performance.”
All three members live in “different quadrants of the universe,” Gilkyson said.
Gorka lives in Stillwater, Minnesota, Kaplansky lives in New York City, and Gilkyson makes her home in Austin, Texas. Getting together to play live is a treat for both fans and the band members of Red Horse themselves. For a band that makes the stage their home, fans can expect a warm and family-like vibe for their show this Sunday.
“Our shows are always a little spontaneous, they're not all the same. The show could go anywhere, we have a lot of fun, we tell stories, it's almost like a living room kind of feeling,” Gilkyson said.
Turner is an intern at the Vail Daily. Email comments about this story