So why is she co-billing with Grand Ole Opry star Elizabeth Cook at Eddie’s Attic on October 20?
“Because I’m a storyteller a lot like she is,” explains humorist Hollis Gillespie, who has been voted Atlanta’s favorite local author and/or columnist every year since 2001. “Our differences, of course, is that she sings her stories while I just hunker down and tell ’em straight out. So Elizabeth Cook will be doing all the singing, thank God!”
The format for the evening, she continues, is similar to the popular duo of humorist Julie Sweeney and folk-singer Jill Sobule, who often go on tour with each other to great accolades. Gillespie herself is no stranger to storytelling. The daughter of a missile scientist for a mother and a traveling trailer salesman, she has published three memoirs, beginning with the bestseller Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch, which landed her the Break-Out uthor of the Year award from Writers Digest, a guest spot on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and a film-rights option from a major Hollywood studio. Recently, Gillespie performed with George Dawes Green in one of his Moth storytelling events, billed by Wall Street Journal as “New Yorks hottest and hippest literary ticket.”
“Ive been a fan of Hollis for a long time,” Cook says. “We’re both writers and we both like to tell a story.”
Cook’s own lyrical stories, songs with titles like Momma’s Funeral and Heroin Addict Sister — not to mention Sometimes it Takes Balls to be a Woman — can span an atmospheric range from haunting to alluring to downright knee-slapping. The daughter of a welder who served time for running moonshine, Cook, like Gillespie, often writes about her family. “I’ve loved Elizabeth ever since I heard the first verse of Herion Addict Sister,” says Gillespie of Cook. “It’s such a coincidence that she sought me out when she did. Two days earlier I’d just spent a half hour in my driveway listening to her interview on NPR.”
CLICK HERE to buy tickets to see Elizabeth Cook and Hollis Gillespie at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, GA, starting at 7 p.m.