If you don’t listen to the Outlaw Country channel on Sirius XM*, you are likely not familiar with Elizabeth Cook, who hosts a daily program called Apron Strings**. Like most of the on-air “personalities” on that channel, she’s also a professional musician, and an intriguing one at that.
I think of her as Carrie Underwood’s evil twin. Both are blond and beautiful, with a blue-collar, small town upbringing and college degrees in non-music fields – Underwood: mass communication and journalism; Cook: accounting (yay!) and computer information systems (double yay!). That’s where the similarity ends. Cook’s music has a non-Nashville-slick sound and an occasional (frequent?) dark streak that makes it an acquired taste…and one that I’ve acquired.
She writes some edgy lyrics, like these from El Camino (about a guy who drives a 1972 “funky-a**” refurb), an ode to a decidedly non-yuppie relationship:
After Saturday matinee roller derby
We went parking and things got blurry
I thought man I can’t get much hotter
And then I caught a whiff of piña colada
And we were making love in the disco era
And he was Travolta and I was Farrah
I was like man what is happening here
Dude must of put a quaalude in my beer
If I wake up married, I’ll have to annul it
Right now my hands are in his mullet
It takes a special kind of mind to think about rhyming “annul it” with “mullet” and have it make perfect sense.
Here are a couple of songs that capture the essence of Elizabeth Cook. Both are from her album Welder, the title being a tribute to her father’s occupation.
*I don’t blame you for not listening to Outlaw Country. Some of the DJs (if that’s what they’re called nowadays) are vulgar, profane idiots (yes, I’m talking to you, Mojo Nixon). But they sure play some interesting music.
**I have no idea why she chose that name for her show; I suspect she’s being ironic because she’s hardly the poster child for the live-in-the-kitchen country mom stereotype. While she does occasionally share recipes, most of them involve a blender and tequila.