By Whitney Pastorek
Updated April 28, 2010 at 06:40 PM EDT

Elizabeth Cook was by far my favorite discovery of SXSW 2010. I’d always known she existed — her presence kind of wandered around the fringes of my consciousness, trying to penetrate the blaring wall of Patty Griffin and Hold Steady tracks that block most everything else out — but I never really “got it” until I caught her live at the Americana showcase held early in that long Austin weekend. First of all, she was hilarious in that specifically blonde Southern way that’s not quite ditzy, but also not quite all there. Second, she did a hilarious half-rap about an El Camino (“I told him, ‘Your car is creepy, man/and not in a gangsta kind of way but in a perv kind of way'”) and followed it with a gut-punch of a (true) ballad about her heroin-addicted sister. Third, she clogged. I was sold.

So I’m thrilled to present this stream of “All the Time,” the lead track off Welder, which hits stores May 11. (Welder includes both the El Camino song and the heroin-addict song, FYI, and both are very worth your time; you can actually hear them over at Cook’s MySpace page as we speak.) Cook’s notes on “All the Time” read as follows: “I wrote this song when I found the #70 Rhumba beat on my Casio keyboard. I listened and heard this tune over it immediately. It sounds like Vietnam psychedelic bluegrass to me. It should be an entire genre. Buddy Miller humbles me and lends a righteous harmony vocal.”

Enjoy! And don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments.

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