Classic Rock

Brent coBB

Q&A with the singer-songwriter.


Interview: Henry Yates The popular perception of modern country – beers, babes, vests, trucks – receded a little in 2018 thanks to Brent Cobb’s album Providence Canyon. The Georgiabor­n, Grammy-nominated songwriter’s third album was an all-inclusive triumph that mixed rock, soul and funk flavours, while speaking of universal truths like the pang of missing home.

“My head is spinning a little bit,” he tells us of his rocketing profile, “but bring it on, man.”

Has country music got better or worse in the past year?

I think country music is the most popular it’s ever been, and at the same time there’s another side of country that may be the most soul-searching it’s ever been. But I don’t know that both of those sides get along all the time. It’s like Hank Jr said in Family Tradition [sings]: ‘Country music singers have always been a real close family, but lately some of my kinfolks have disowned a few others and me/I guess it’s because I kinda changed my direction.’

Country and rock seem to be coming together nicely, though?

It seems like it’s always been trying to be that. I just read a cool old interview with Waylon Jennings from 1974. He talks about rock’n’roll and he says something like: “The definition of rock’n’roll used to mean fucking. I think we need to bring some more of that into country music.’ That was pretty cool.

Producer Dave Cobb, your cousin, called you “the redneck Paul Simon”. It’s a pretty funny title. I hope I can live up to whatever that means.

What are your hopes and fears for 2019?

I guess the worst thing that could happen is the world could end. The best thing that could happen is that it doesn’t end. I think things may change even more in 2019, because I have a brand new baby coming.

Will that make touring harder?

Really fucking hard. But there are worse things that could keep me away from my family than playing music.

That’s true. You could be going to jail. Or I could be going to war. A huge hurricane hit my home town last night and wiped everything out. So I think about the guys that work on the power lines and cleaning up all that shit. I could have been out all last night doing that, but instead I was writing a song. So it’s not too bad.

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