When: Sun., July 8, 8 p.m. 2012
Alt-country singer-songwriter Elizabeth Cook put together her first band when she was only 9. As cool as that might sound, Cook says she didn’t enjoy performing at that age. “I didn’t like having a band and having to set up all the equipment,” she says. “Standing in front of people and singing was horrifying. I wanted to be in the corner with my Strawberry Shortcake doll.” Cook gave up performing and concentrated on graduating from college. But after a short-lived career as an auditor, she gravitated back to music and issued her debut, The Blue Album, in 2000; she then signed to Warner Bros. Nashville. “I was brought in [to the Nashville scene] pretty quickly, to be honest,” she says. “I was 25 and blonde and under 120 pounds. I met the qualifications that they needed. What it took me five years to find out was that musically, I was much too stubborn and quirky and set in my own ways.” It wasn’t long before Cook’s major label experience was over; 2007’s Balls marked the beginning of her relationship with the indie imprint 31 Tigers. Cook’s latest effort, Gospel Plow, features several spunky renditions of Pentecostal songs she used to sing in church as a young girl. “[The songs] all came out through our filter, and [the album] has a grunge grass feel to it,” she says. “We realized that no one is addressing this genre in the Americana or roots rock scene. It is fundamental to roots rock ’n’ roll. Anyone who knows anything about Elvis knows that. It was extremely influential to him. He would not have done what he did were he not influenced by what he witnessed at Pentecostal churches in Memphis.” Cook brings her talented trio to the Beachland Tavern tonight at 8. Tim Carroll opens, and tickets are $12 in advance, or $14 day of show.