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To say that Elizabeth Cook's background is like something out of a country song would be wildly underestimating the entire genre. The youngest of 11 half-brothers and sisters, she grew up in rural Florida where her musician parents met while playing in local country bars. Her father learned to play upright bass in a Georgia prison band while serving 11 years for running moonshine. Her mother, a singer and mandolin player from the hills of West Virginia, wrote her daughter's first songs, including "Does My Daddy Love The Bottle More Than He Loves Me," and had Elizabeth singing on stage at 4 years old.
Elizabeth's 4th album, Balls is a bold declaration of an uncompromising artist unafraid to be exactly who she is. . Produced by Rodney Crowell, 9 of the album's 11 tracks are written or co-written by Elizabeth -- including the brash anthem "Sometimes It Takes Balls To Be A Woman" -- and the album stands defiant in its devotion to smiles, tears and sexy, sassy swagger. It's a fiercely independent ride where shuffles, ballads and even the occasional juice harp can soar alongside an exquisite cover of The Velvet Underground's "Sunday Morning." Balls is, quite simply, Elizabeth Cook's unabashed breakthrough.
In contemporary country music, it's a rare performer who will dare to take on the industry on her own hogs-and-kisses terms. But for the artist whom Nanci Griffith has called "this generation's Loretta Lynn," it takes a certain tenacity to meld smart attitude with classic tradition, the credibility of a life lived with genuine hillbilly passion, and the integrity to write an acclaimed cache of uncommonly cool songs. In other words, for Elizabeth Cook, it takes Balls, and having Balls is just the beginning.
Tim Carroll, a product of rural Indiana, releases his eighth record, All Kinds Of Pain, in July 2009. As rhythm guitarist in the late-70s Bloomington, Indiana punk band, The Gizmos (Gulcher), Tim displayed his bare-bones rock ethic, then polished it in the 80s with The Blue Chieftains, his New York City bar band (Diesel Only Records).
A Nashville transplant since 1993, Tim has had songs recorded by John Prine, Asleep At The Wheel, BR-549, Robbie Fulks, Kasey Chambers, Elizabeth Cook, Bare Jr., Sunny Sweeney, Sonny Burgess and many others.
In 1995, he made the cover of Billboard magazine in an article about Nashville's burgeoning alt-country music scene. In 1996, Tim was nominated for a Nashville Music Award in the category of "Best Unsigned Artist." In 1997, he signed a deal with Sire Records and began working with producer Andy Paley.
In 1999, Carroll had two of his Sire recordings on major motion picture soundtracks. Election featured the song "Find A Way To Win," and Drop Dead Gorgeous includes a song co-written with the late Duane Jarvis, "A Girl That's Hip."
Since 2000, Tim has appeared on The Grand Ole Opry literally hundreds of times as sideman to his wife, Americana chanteuse and Sirius Radio host Elizabeth Cook. He's toured in Japan, Great Britain, France, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, and South Korea.