-[ Singing ]
Good morning, sun, hey, hey Do you need another mule skin I only knew — [ Music stops ] -[ Singing ]
Take a sip from your soul On a metaphysical milkshake -I’m a huge fan of your music, and I’m a huge fan
of your Sirius “Apron Strings” Outlaw Country radio show.
-Yes. -Now, you’ve played the
Grand Ole Opry how many times? -Like, 400 or something? -400 times?
-Yeah. How does —
how does that happen? -Uh, I was in town
a lot when people canceled. -[ Southern accent ]
You talk funny. -Do not!
-Do too! -[ Laughs ] -If you could go anywhere,
where would you want to go? -I think I would like
to go to Cuba. I’d really like to go to Cuba. Damn! That’s magic, Rainn.
You are magic. -Your story, I read
about a little bit and seen in some interviews. You grew up
with crazy backwoods parents. -Yes, yes.
-Take us through that. -My dad ran moonshine
with the mafia, and my mother
was a hillbilly singer. Now, she was a serious singer
and musician, and she played quite a bit
when she was young. -What did she sound like
when she was singing? -She sounded like the pain of Appalachian women
all coming through your voice. Like Hazel Dickens.
-What would she sing? -[ Singing ]
You were mine for just a while Now you’re putting on a style [ Normal voice ]
Like, real country. -Wow, that’s gorgeous. -[ Singing ]
And you never once looked back At your home across the track -Wow! That’s so good.
I got goose pimples. How do you write a song?
-A line pops in my head. Like “El Camino.”
Like, I just immediately was, “I know this guy,
he’s all wrong for me,” and I wrote the first line
was the first line. And the second line
was the second line. So, I wrote it exactly
in that order. Yeah, that’s when it’s easy.
But it’s not always that easy. Sometimes it’s a lot harder.
-I know this guy, he’s all wrong for me. Country music
seems to be often about people, especially
women, overcoming obstacles. -Yes.
-What are some obstacles you’ve had to get over
in your life? -Big, hairy, in-my-way men. [ Both laugh ] No, I would just say, probably, what a lot of women go through, and then maybe
a Southern blonde woman, which is just
being underestimated. -Mm.
-And being perceived that you don’t have
anything going on in the cortex. -Mm-hmm. -So, but in a way,
it can be an advantage, because you sneak
in from behind. -Now, you’ve said that you had
a crazy religious upbringing. -Yeah, sort of accidentally. I don’t think
my parents really intended it. I think they just thought
it was a really cheap babysitter to send me to the church
to hang out. -Like, for the weekends,
you would hang out at the Pentecostal church,
or all day Sunday? -All day Sunday. Because they had
a big country gospel band that would play for,
like, two or three hours. That was the best part
was just rocking out, country gospel band. Like, Southern gospel
for like two or three hours. And so, I always say there was
like a fried cloud of chicken smoke
hanging over the neighborhood, and then they’d like,
say some scripture real fast, and people would freak out. And speaking in tongues.
-Speak in tongues? And so, you had parents
that were actively breaking the law and they
were kind of musicians and hanging out
in the honky-tonk bars, but then you were
spending Sundays in a Pentecostal church.
-Right. Learning that
they were going to hell, and boy, I sure
was gonna miss ’em when they weren’t around. -And what is
your spiritual life today, or your religious life? -I’m in
an information-gathering phase. I don’t know what I think yet.
-I think we should all be in kind of
an information-gathering phase. -Yeah, always
and forever, right? -And what have you done
as you’ve gone on this path of kind of spiritual,
personal discovery, looking for some spiritual
connection in your life? -I think I’ve just tried
to read and gather information and learn about
“What is Buddhism? Like, what does
that really mean? What are the core
principles of that?” And how — how is Islam
different from Judaism? Obviously it’s very different.
Like, how and why? I mean, I think people
are vastly undereducated about it when we know
there’s contention there, but I don’t know —
completely understand the depth of why. And I think a whole lot
of people don’t understand, even the people
in the throes of it don’t understand
the depth of why. -Do you believe in a God
or a higher power? -There’s a lot of random things
going on, obviously, but there also seems to be
a bit of a symphony at the same time, with nature,
and can that really be random? -Life’s big questions.
Lightning round. Would you want to know
the exact moment when you’re going to die?
-Yes. -If you could be fluent
in any language right now, which one would you choose? -Arabic.
-Why? -Because they’re saying stuff.
I’d like to know what it is. -[ Laughs ] Do you pray?
-No. -Can men and women
really just be friends? -Yes.
-What do you fear most in life? -Not knowing
what’s gonna happen. -Is your accent real?
-Yes. -Wrong answer. It’s put on. You’re actually from Ohio. Define success
in 10 words or less. -Happiness. Good clothes. That’s two words. -That’s three altogether.
Happiness, good clothes? -Happiness, good clothes,
saline swimming pool, exotic cat, cactus. -That’s like
you wrote a poem just then. That’s like a haiku. -It all means something,
you know? -What’s one thing that
people don’t know about you? -That I’m a math nerd. I went through four calculuses
in college, like, for fun. Because it was
a good elective for me because I made
good grades in it. -Wow!
-But, yeah. -So, YouTube, Elizabeth Cook
here, Grand Ole Opry star, is also a calculus geek
and a math nerd. Who would have possibly
thunk it? What is something
about you that is surprising
that people don’t know? Some secret part of yourself.
Share it with us. Write it in
the comment section below. Ticka-ticka-tick.
Or better yet, upload a video
and tell us about it. And Elizabeth
and I will watch every single video
that gets uploaded. Promise?
-Promise. -Pinky swear.