Elizabeth Cook, Ernie Hendrickson | Schubas | Folk & Country | Chicago Reader

Elizabeth Cook, Ernie Hendrickson Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Wed., Sept. 1, 7 p.m. 2010

The title of the fifth and latest album by country singer Elizabeth Cook, Welder (31 Tigers), reportedly refers both to the profession her father learned while serving hard time for running moonshine and to the way she likes to bring in elements from other genres. Not to belabor a metaphor, but while seams are definitely visible, I like the hodgepodge. Cook is a sharp observer with a refreshingly blunt manner, whether she’s acknowledging her own questionable judgment in the tart “El Camino” (“If I wake up married, I’ll have to annul it / Right now my hands are in his mullet”) or ruminating on the celebratory atmosphere at “Mama’s Funeral.” On a number of tunes she wanders the same wide country- folk-rock territory occupied by Julie and Buddy Miller (Buddy contributes backing vocals to “All the Time”), while “Yes to Booty” is a descendant of the biting ultimatums put forth by Loretta Lynn (“When you say yes to beer,” she advises her man, “you say no to booty”). Cook also covers the forgotten 1959 Frankie Miller hit “Blackland Farmer” and brings an aching empathy to “Til Then,” a gorgeous ballad by her guitar-playing husband, Tim Carroll, about a couple biding time as they wait for a ship that’s likely never to come in. Ernie Hendrickson opens. —Peter Margasak

Price: $14, $12 in advance

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