Puremusic interview with Elizabeth Cook
Elizabeth Cook
by Frank Goodman

I admit it, a lot of seemingly everyday things are mysteries to me. But as I became more aware of and then deeply into the music of Elizabeth Cook, a new mystery moved up the list. Namely, how can you take a singer this great, with tunes of this caliber, who looks this gorgeous, and not be able to put it in the hoop? In this particular case, all the factors mentioned are in the extreme, so it seems like criminal ineptitude.

It's not that simple, of course. Her 2002 big label (Warners) debut Hey Y'all didn't really see the exposure it was due, to understate the matter. It's all too easy to deduce that it was considered too traditional, or "too Country for Country" as it's come to be called around Music Row. On the other hand, Elizabeth's authentically traditional country sound endeared her to the Grand Old Opry and its fans. To date, she has appeared over 100 times on the Opry, more than many huge stars of the genre.

I was fortunate enough to see her perform at a Billy Block show in town a while back, and was knocked out. Elizabeth's manager David Macias is a friend, and he took me upstairs to meet her. She's such a lovely and genuine person that it kind of bowls you over, you know what I mean. Her husband Tim Carroll was talking to a fan so I didn't get to hang with him, but he's also extremely talented, both as an artist in his own right and as her bandleader.

The brand new album, This Side of the Moon, has been in rotation at my house since I first heard it. "Cupid," the cute and clever opener (penned with Randy Scruggs), always makes me smile, check it out:

I been thinking bout you baby
and I don't know why
all you ever do is make me cry cry cry
but I'm missin all your kissin
and I swear it's a dirty old doggone shame
next time Cupid oughta take a little better aim

That fat naked baby with the arrow and bow
has gotta be the worst marksman that I know
I don't know why he chose you for me
It's just been a lesson in misery...

And that's the tip of the iceberg, the record is full of great tracks and fab songs. The deal is that Country has gotten so screwed up in recent years that when I hear a great hard Country record like this, or like the new one by Robbie Fulks (also interviewed in this issue), I remember that I may hate a lot of Country radio but I love Country music.

We're enthused to bring you a conversation with the subtly effervescent Elizabeth Cook and invite you to check out her music on the Listen page. We're excited to see her teamed up now with David Macias--he's the kind of manager who will take a quality artist that the machine spit out and put what should be her brilliant career right on track.  continue to interview