Elizabeth Cook is a national treasure that many of you may not know about. She’s long been the host of Apron Strings on Sirius/XM Outlaw Radio and a personal favorite of retired late-night TV host David Letterman.
Cook has been impressing country fans with her quirky, yet honest songs since her Warner Brothers Nashville album Hey Y’all from 2002. Since then, she has enthralled audiences world-wide with her brand of country music through her following three albums and breathtaking Gospel Plow EP.
Cook and her band recently spent a Tuesday night in Annapolis, MD at the Rams Head On Stage introducing a rabid audience to songs from her upcoming album Exodus of Venus (out on June 17, pending art approval…Cook joked) and some fan favorites.
Cook’s set though was mostly focused on the new album and of the 16 songs she and her tight band played, 10 of them will appear on Exodus of Venus. Without the luxury of multiple listens I can still boldly predict that the album will be one of my favorites of 2016.
The new songs show Cook’s many sides…Country, blues and rock. She kicked off the show with the burning “Slow Pain” into the humorous uptempo road travel fail inspired “Broke Down In London,” to the rockin’ title track, and the brilliant “Methadone Blues” which Cook said was the continuation of the stunning Welder track “Heroin Addicted Sister” which she played next.
Lightening up the mood, Cook and her band dove into the fan-favorite “El Camino” which she said is “a song about a car that just creeps me out.” It’s the most fun anyone can have listening to music from the lyrics to the funky music.
She kept the mood light with another Welder track “Rock n Roll Man” which she said was a cautionary tale of dating musicians. As she does with most of her songs, she sung it with a knowing grin on her face.
David Letterman inspired her first cover of the night, a gorgeous version of Velvet Underground’s legendary “Pale Blue Eyes” (the story is told by her in the video below from one of her many performances at the Opry). Later on she played a remarkable cover of “Country Feedback” by R.E.M. (who also recorded “Pale Blue Eyes” in the 80s).
The new music rolled on as she played the burning “Cutting My Diamond,” a tune full of slick guitar licks, the mournful “Tabitha Tuders’ Mama,” the bass laden “Orange Blossom Trail,” and the soaring and ominous “Dyin’.”
Cook ended the night with another stunning country rocker from the new album called “Evacuation” which was inspired by a women in New Orleans who was told to leave her house during a storm, but had nowhere to go so she stayed. Cook likened the sentiment to Merle Haggard’s “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink.”
Over the years Elizabeth Cook has more than proven herself. As a DJ, she has impeccable taste. As a singer and musician she’s untouchable. Her songs are honest and indelibly her own.