Elizabeth Cook: The Life, Career, and Songs of an Outlaw
UPDATED: November 21, 2023
UPDATED: November 21, 2023

Who is Elizabeth Cook?

Elizabeth Cook is a celebrated American country music singer and radio host on Sirius XM. Born on July 18, 1972, Cook has made a significant impact on the country music scene with her unique style and soulful voice. Despite not being a member of the Grand Ole Opry, Cook has made over 400 appearances since her debut on March 17, 2000, and has gained a loyal following of fans. Cook has several collaborations with RootsnRevelry favorites, Todd Snider and Jason Isbell. This includes the 2 song EP and and tribute to Townes Van Zandt, Tecumseh Valley.

Cook’s music is known for its blend of traditional country sounds, more often classified as “Outlaw Country” due to her darker themes. Her songwriting often explores themes of heartbreak, love, and self-discovery, making her relatable to many of her listeners.

Her latest release, Aftermath, was produced by Butch Walker,  Aftermath has been praised for its raw and emotional lyrics and Cook’s powerful vocals.

Despite her success, Cook is a truly underrated talent that deserves to be a household name. However, her impact on roots music is undeniable, and she has been recognized for her contributions to the genre. Cook has also been a fixture on television, appearing on shows like The Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. With her talent and dedication to her craft, Elizabeth Cook is sure to continue making waves in the country music industry for years to come.

Early Life

Elizabeth Cook was born in Wildwood, Florida, the youngest of 12 children. Her mother, Joyce, was a musician who played mandolin and guitar and performed on radio and local television. Her father, Thomas, was also a musician who played string instruments. He honed his skills playing upright bass in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary prison band while serving time for running moonshine.

Growing up in a musical family, Elizabeth began performing at a young age. She made her first public appearance at the age of four and began playing guitar at the age of nine. Her parents encouraged her musical pursuits, and she played in various bands throughout her teenage years.

Despite her love for music, Elizabeth faced many challenges growing up. Her parents struggled with addiction, and her father was in and out of prison throughout her childhood. She also faced personal struggles, including an eating disorder and substance abuse issues.

Despite these challenges, Elizabeth persevered and continued to pursue her music career. In 2000, she released her debut album, Hey, Y’all, which was well-received by critics and fans alike. She has since released several more albums, including This Side of the Moon and Aftermath.

Throughout her career, Elizabeth has become known for her unique blend of country, rock, and roots music. She has been praised for her powerful vocals and honest songwriting, and has become a respected figure in the roots music community.

Personal Struggles and Triumphs

Elizabeth Cook has faced her fair share of personal struggles and tragedies throughout her life. Despite these challenges, she has persevered and used her experiences to shape her music and connect with her audience.

Cook has been open about her struggles with addiction and mental health. She has been to rehab multiple times and has spoken about the importance of seeking help when needed. Her song Bayonette from her album These Days is a powerful reflection on her journey to sobriety.

In addition to her battles with addiction, Cook has also experienced significant loss in her life. She lost her family farm after her divorce from her ex-husband, musician Tim Carroll. She has also lost several family members, including her father, mother, brother, and mother-in-law. These experiences have influenced her music, particularly on her album Exodus of Venus, which was released after a six-year hiatus following the death of her parents.

Despite these hardships, Cook has found ways to triumph and use her experiences in her music. Her album Stanley by God Terry is a tribute to her uncle, who was a musician and influential figure in her life. She has also used her platform to advocate for mental health awareness and to encourage others to seek help when needed.

Cook’s music is a reflection of her personal struggles and triumphs. Her album Two Chords and a Lie explores the complexities of relationships and the impact of bad decisions. She uses her experiences to connect with her audience and provide a sense of comfort and understanding.

Overall, Cook’s personal struggles and triumphs have shaped her music and made her a powerful figure in roots music. She has used her platform to advocate for important causes and to provide a voice for those who may be struggling.

Discography:

Discography:

  • The Blue Album

    Release date: November 20, 2000
    Label: Self-released

  • Hey Y’all

    Release date: August 27, 2002
    Label: Warner Bros. Nashville

  • This Side of the Moon

    Release date: August 2004
    Label: Hog Country

  • Balls

    Release date: May 1, 2007
    Label: 31 Tigers

  • Welder

    Release date: May 11, 2010
    Label: 31 Tigers

  • Exodus of Venus

    Release date: June 17, 2016
    Label: Agent Love

  • Aftermath

    Release date: September 11, 2020
    Label: Agent Love

Other Ventures

Upstream

Aside from her music career, Elizabeth Cook has also been involved in various other ventures throughout her life. In 2018, Cook became the host of Upstream, a music talk show on The Circle Network. The show features interviews with various country and roots music artists, and Cook’s experience as a musician and songwriter brings a unique perspective to the discussions.

Squidbillies

Cook has also made appearances on various television shows, including Squidbillies and Conversation with Allan Wolper. Her acting skills have been praised by critics and fans alike, and she has expressed interest in pursuing more acting opportunities in the future.In addition to her work in entertainment, Cook has also been open about her struggles with addiction and her journey to recovery.

Methadone Blues

She released a memoir in 2016 titled Methadone Blues, which details her experiences with addiction and how she was able to overcome it. The book received critical acclaim and was praised for its honesty and rawness.

Women for Sheriff

Elizabeth Cook is also cofounder of the womens clothing brand women for sheriff. Check out the store website and bio here. (Elizabeth Cook For Sheriff)

Elizabeth Cook has proven herself to be a multi-talented artist and individual, with a wide range of interests and passions. Her ventures outside of music have allowed her to explore different aspects of herself and her creativity, and she continues to inspire others with her honesty and authenticity

Final Thoughts

Elizabeth Cook is a talented singer-songwriter who has made a significant impact on the roots music scene. Her unique blend of rock and country music has won her legions of fans, and her honest, heartfelt lyrics have touched the hearts of many.  Despite facing numerous personal tragedies, Cook has continued to produce music that is both raw and authentic.

Cook’s impact on roots music extends far beyond her own music. She has been a tireless advocate for the genre, becoming the official voice for Outlaw Country Music, and using her platform to promote other artists and to ensure that roots music continues to thrive. Her passion for the genre is evident in everything she does, and her influence can be felt throughout the industry.

In short, Elizabeth Cook is an icon of roots music. Her talent, passion, and resilience have made her a beloved figure in the industry, and her impact will be felt for years to come. Elizabeth Cook is a true Heartworn Hero.

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