Wednesday, May 23, 7:30 p.m.
The Redstone Room, 129 Main Street, Davenport IA
Described by the New York Times as an “idiosyncratic traditionalist” and “a sharp and surprising country singer,” country-music crooner, guitarist, and mandolin player Elizabeth Cook headlines a Redstone Room concert on May 23, the artist's most recent album Exodus of Venus lauded by American Songwriter magazine as “Cook's finest, most riveting and intensely personal work.”
Born in Wildwood, Florida, in 1972, Cook moved to Nashville in her 20s, and self-released her debut The Blue Album, a recording that showcased her formidable songwriting abilities and featured such Music City talents as Tim Carroll, Kenny Vaughan, and Rick Schnell. Atlantic Records signed Cook soon after its release, and she began working on her major-label debut (2002's Hey, Y'All) while making repeat appearances at the Grand Ole Opy – a considerable achievement given that, at the time, she was an indie artist with no radio airplay. (To date, Cook has performed at the Nashville venue more than 400 times – the most appearances by any non-member of the Grand Ole Opry.) Cook's reputation as a soulful country singer and impassioned songwriter increased with the release of 2005's This Side of the Moon and 2007's Balls, and by the time of 2010's Welder, she was so well-known and -respected that her album was able to secure guest spots for the likes of Dwight Yoakam, Rodney Crowell, and Buddy Miller.
Over the next five years, in addition to her Grand Ole Opry gigs and international tours in countries including Japan, Sweden, and South Korea, Cook began hosting her Sirius XM radio program Apron Strings and enduring a series of transformative changes – she lost a parent, got divorced, and saw a sibling through rehabilitation after a long bout with drug addiction. Her experiences led Cook to craft the intensely personal 2016 album Exodus of Venus, which has earned the artist the strongest reviews of her career. Rolling Stone stated that “the swamp-heavy blues guitars tell as much of the story as Cook's often-visceral lyrics,” and PopMatters.com wrote that the album “sounds as if the music comes straight from the soul.”
Elizabeth Cook's 7:30 p.m. Redstone Room concert opens with a set by Caleb Caudle, admission to the May 23 event is $12-15, and more information and tickets are available by calling (563)326-1333 or visiting RiverMusicExperience.org.