No matter what its apologists may claim, country music enjoys no special access to the truth because it uses three chords. Like any other form of popular music, country works best when it uncovers and delivers new information about the world ‘ which isn’t necessarily the same thing as telling the truth. On her brilliant new full-length Welder, Nashville’s Elizabeth Cook has fashioned a compassionate, funny overview of what the form can do with its three chords and its obsession with family, time, fame and distance. If much of modern country is musically lazy and positively dishonest, Welder reveals Cook as a poet of everyday life who doesn’t shrink from the world’s hard, sad realities.
Friday, February 10, 2023