Singer-songwriter Erin Enderlin got a jump-start on country music's rising resistance to full-length albums by plotting a series of three-song EPs. The latest of which, Chapter Two: I Can Be Your Whiskey, serves as a short story that addresses the search for barroom comfort, before or after a romantic conquest.
The EP, released today (June 28) by Blaster Records/Black Crow Productions, begins with throwback drinking song "I Can Be Your Whiskey." Its narrator reckons she'd be a better cure for whatever ails a liquor-drinking bar patron than another shot. It represents the barflys out meeting potential new flames while drinking away memories--a sad routine for the sorts of small-town characters living in Enderlin's songs.
Although Enderlin built her reputation as one of the songwriters behind Alan Jackson's "Monday Morning Church," cover songs make up two-thirds of the EP.
The first showcase of her song interpreter skills, "A Man With 18 Wheels," adds a blues-rock edge to a traditional country cut from Lee Ann Womack's self-titled debut album from 1997.
The third and final song, "Old Flames (Can't Hold a Candle To You)" was written in the '70s by singer-songwriter Hugh Moffatt and Kesha's mom, Pebe Sebert. Most associate the song with Dolly Parton, be if for her chart-topping 1980 version or her 2017 team-up with Kesha. Enderlin, known in part for her hero-worship anthem "World Without Willie," gives Dolly her due by adding her own spin to Parton's arrangement.
The traditionalist feel of both "I Can Be Your Whiskey" and "Old Flames (Can't Hold a Candle To You)" comes in part from a solid backing band, featuring well-traveled fiddler and mandolin player Tammy Rogers King, steel guitar legend Paul Franklin and jack-of-all-trades Jim "Moose" Brown--a session guitarist and pianist and the EP's co-producer alongside his and Enderlin's longtime collaborator, Jamey Johnson.