February 03, 2019 by David Stringer
Feb-8 The New Brookland Tavern
West Columbia, SC, US
The last time Brent Cobb toured through South Carolina it was supporting Chris Stapleton’s sold out arena tour. While Stapleton is seen as one of the saviors of country music, for me I’ve never been able to quite buy in. It’s not that I’m not buying his voice, or guitar chops, but when it comes to country and Americana music, for me the lyrical content weighs most important. If that doesn’t feel real, then I don’t care for country music at all.
Growing up in the South, country music mostly meant Allen Jackson’s “Watermelon Crawl” or Bill Ray Cyrus “Achy Breaky Heart”, so I grew up with great disdain for the modern genre. At the same time I was often forced to listen Roy Acuff cassettes riding with my Grandpa, and was less forced and more so enjoyed listening to Country Earl every Saturday morning who would play a smattering of classic country tunes.
Modern country never meant much to me until Whiskeytown came along in the late 90’s, and the Drive By-Truckers, and at this point it was the alternative country kind. Even then, the country music I’ve liked has remained on the fringes, and that’s how I like it. Each new “real country” artist gets the extra judgmental treatment from fans like me, and readers of the great site Saving Country Music. Now I’m buy or sell with my own pretentious ear, buying Jason Isbell and selling Stapleton. Buying greats like Emmylou and Gillian Welch, and selling Kasey Musgraves, though I do enjoy Musgraves I consider her hardly country music at all.
Long story short, I’ve always bought Brent Cobb as one of the best and most authentic of the newer true country songwriters. When Cobb sings Never thought I’d be so far from Georgia/Georgia’s where I knew I’d always live and die/Now here I am travelin’ through Colorado/Livin’ on the road, just tryin’ to survive in “Come Home Soon” it comes off as nothing but honest and relatable to someone from the rural South. And “Solving Problems” which is one of his best songs, is a perfect front porch song, talking about the health of family members, Merle Haggard, and thinking about what the folks back home think about what you’re doing.
If these are the types of things you look for in a songwriter, you’ll love Brent Cobb. If you’re from this neck of the woods, you’ll hear something familiar in his accent and relatable in his lyrics.