A chat with singer/songwriter Brent Cobb – Playing Macon Aug. 26
Playing Aug. 26 at the Music at the Mount Concert Series. For tickets visit mountdesales.net $15 in advance / $20 at the gate
If the love of music can follow a bloodline then you could say that writer & recording artist Brent Cobb was born to be a musician. In fact, so many members of Brent’s extended family have musical ability that he can’t really name them all. Music was not only in his blood, it was played and heard in his home as a child and in the homes of most of his relatives throughout his youth. As this 24-year-old native of Americus, Georgia, would say, “It goes way deep.” Deep as it was, there was no way that he could know growing up that these same familial ties would lead him on a crazy journey that would take him from small town Georgia to the mean streets of LA and back home again, eventually landing him in Nashville, writing songs and collaborating with some of the biggest names in country music today.
Listen. “Solving Problems” is my favorite song in the world right now. Just had to say that. Thank you so much man.
You are from Richland, correct?
Well I was born in Americus, raised in Ellaville, but my stomping grounds were in Richland.
I’m from Vienna, right around the corner.
Aww, yeah. When’s the last time you hit the Big Pig Jig?
Man, it’s been a while. I went back a few years ago I guess. And it wasn’t quite as fun since I’m legal, cut my teeth getting in trouble at the Pig Jig though. Holds a special place in my heart. Oh Man, me too. Haven’t been back in too long. Always talk about going back though.
Tell me about writing the song “Solving Problems”. It made me feel good in kind of a John Hartford kind of way. Aww, yeah man. “Gentle on my mind” is my favorite country song in the world. I think NPR nailed it when they said we copied that melody. And while a lot of songs have that progression. I just like that kind of laid back country music. The way we wrote it was how it came out. The most literal song I’ve ever written, we wrote it in real time, about what we were doing at that moment. On the porch. Me and my first best buddy in Nashville. It was on a Sunday. You know how it is, being from Vienna. There really is a way to solve the problems of the world on a porch.
Your voice sounds like an older man. I was surprised at how young you were. That’s a compliment… What’s crazy is that I’ve had this voice since I was about 13 years old. I’ve had this voice for a long time, I’m just now learning how to use it though. Taken me about 20 years I guess to figure it out.
Coming from the type of place where we grew up, it’s not exactly a hotbed of creativity. How was it growing up, being a writer? Well I was lucky to have a family that was into music. That encouraged that kind of behavior. That’s a great problem to have. But I know what you mean. People look at you and say “Writer? Well good luck with all that.” But then when you move off and do it for as long as I have, they all come back around I guess.
You’ve been writing songs for a while now. You’ve written for Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Eli Young Band, Kellie Pickler, David Nail, and Frankie Ballard… I feel like this album was a bit different than some of those songs. When you walk around Nashville today, is there a change coming in country music? If so, can you see it? Maybe. It’s so hard to tell man. Nashville is such a completely different town already. Was when I first came here in ‘08. It just constantly evolves. You don’t really notice it, you just kind of notice it. All of a sudden it’s just changed.
You talked about music being in your family. Tell me about Uncle Dave. (Brent’s cousin, Dave Cobb produced folks like Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson). We didn’t know each other at all growing up. His daddy was the first Cobb that left Richland and never come back. When he left he was gone. Never knew Dave existed. When I was 16, I had a great aunt that passed away and I had to be a pall bearer. Word got around that this guy in our family was a producer from L.A. We were skeptical at first, but I talked to him and found out that he had just produced that first Shooter Jennings’ album Put the O Back IN Country. That was all I’ had been listening too. I was blown away. One of my favorite albums of all time. I had a little demo in my truck, and I gave it to him. He told me later he was reluctant to listen to it but his wife talked him into it. He liked it and two days later him and Shooter were on the phone and they flew me out to do an album. We put that out in ‘06. We found out quick there was something to it being “In the blood”. He produces like I write. Real spontaneous and natural. The funny thing was that when I first came to Nashville with that album nobody wanted to hear it. Now I get to say “I tried to tell ya’ll!”
Well you certainly told us with this new album. So glad you guys got back together for it. “Shine On Rainy Day” will be released Oct. 7. Looking forward to your gig in Macon Friday, the 26th. Me to man. Look forward to seeing you!