Elizabeth Cook somehow escaped our radar over the past several records. Perhaps it was the pretty face, and bright blonde locks that made us think more of Taylor Swift than a gritty cutting edge country singer. There's something beguiling and charming about her new album Welder (out now Thirty One Tigers) that manages to get under your skin and stay with you well after you're finished listening. There are certainly some odd moments here to be sure, but that's part of the enigma that seems to be Elizabeth Cook. She clearly owes a huge debt to another purty blonde, Ms. Parton, but there is an intangible attitude and persona at play throughout this diverse and ultimately very satisfying effort, that is uniquely Cook's. From moments of crystal vocal clarity, to the timeless songs of American heartache ("Blackland Farmer") Elizabeth Cook has made a solid record in Welder that will not only appeal to the core alt-country audience, but to the wider range of alt/indie fans at large -- clearly a requirement for any modicum of success outside of Nashville these days. Highly recommended.