Interview: Brent Cobb talks King of Alabama, new album Providence Canyon and playing the UK’s first Long Road Festival

Brent Cobb is possibly one of the most interesting and important artists to have emerged in the last few years. Forget genres, Brent is a noteworthy artist across all genres with his authentic, homely vocal and style and lyrical genius.

Brent released his debut album Shine On Rainy Day in 2016 which was one of the strongest albums of that year in our opinion. His title track which he co wrote with Andrew Combs was so admired that it not only went on Brent’s album but Lee Ann Womack’s current album and Andrew’s too. Combs however recorded it first and called it Rainy Day Song.

Brent, today (May 11th) has released his much anticipated album Providence Canyon. With Brent’s soulful, authentic vocal, this album is everything a Cobb fan would imagine and more.

We caught up with Brent to discuss the tragic story behind his single King of Alabama, his album Providence Canyon, playing the first ever Long Road Festival in the UK and more.

Listen to Providence Canyon here

Purchase Providence Canyon here

Purchase tickets to see Brent at The Long Road Festival here

Hi Brent, how are you? How has your week been?

It’s not been bad, we are at the last little bit of the first leg of the show and then we are off for two weeks.

How has the tour been?

It’s been great, been really nice to see so many people come out and to see what kind of fans we have.

What are you going to do on your time off?

I am going to take my three year old daughter fishing every day.

Congratulations on the release of King of Alabama which we love. It is such a sad story, can we ask a bit about the story?

Of course. I started writing this song a couple of days after my friend Wayne Mills, who was considered to be King of Alabama, was killed. He was sort of a honky tonk hero; he was a road dog. People like Jamey Johnson and Blake Shelton used to open shows for him. The last album that he put out was called The Last Honky Tonk and the night that he died was the night of the George Jones tribute show; he was at a bar that night.

(News story here)

He left behind a seven year old son and a wife and I was thinking about his son losing his dad at such a young age. My wife was pregnant at the time with my daughter, so it weighed pretty heavy on me. My friend and co-writer Adam Hood used to imitate Wayne when he was alive – he was a mutual friend to all of us – and he would say “ I am Wayne Mills, I’m the King of Alabama, by God.“ It was always hilarious when he would do that and that’s where the title of the song comes from. At the end of last year we got back into the studio to add a bit to the song and we got Wayne’s son to be a co-writer on the song, so any little bit that the song makes – a portion of the co-writing – goes straight into Wayne’s publishing company, straight to their family.

Thank you so much for sharing the story and very sorry for your loss.

The video was animated – what made you decide to do that?

There was a couple of things. One, I love animated stuff like that and it used to be used a lot back in the 70’s – and then, because I am touring so much, I don’t have time to make a video, haha. I couldn’t be present, so we called around and found Tom, who is from the UK and a great animator. I told him that I wanted to make the movie ‘Grease’, but on mushrooms, haha – and that’s how we came up with it.

Tell us about Mornin’s Gonna Come?

The song is more sort of ‘what is done in the dark will be brought into the light’. You can party all you want but you’re going to have to wake up – and do you want to wake up hurtin’ or do you want to wake up healin’? The video we focused more on the parties and used the same animator. I want to keep the animated theme alive with the songs we are releasing. There is sort of a ‘Dazed and Confused’ style to the party – which is sort of like the parties we used to have.

Tell us about the partnership with Ram Trucks. It is a four-part series?

I had an email about this campaign they were doing called Long Live The Storytellers. They asked if I would be interested in writing a song for the campaign and it just so happened I was off the road for two days in a row so we had a break and I wanted to sit down and write anyway. Then I got this email in the middle of this little break and the campaign included all themes that I could completely relate to, like missing family. I thought ‘Man, I can write that, as it’s my real life.’ so I wrote Ain’t A Road Too Long, which sort of has a funky, quick-paced lyric. What’s crazy about the Ram partnership and that particular song is that it sort of inspired and influenced the rest of the record that I am about to put out.

What can we expect from Providence Canyon – and will it be in the same creative/style as Shine On Rainy Day?

In some ways it is, and in some ways it is a little different. All the songs sort of come from the same place – the heart. Some are rocking a little harder because we did so many shows with Chris Stapelton last year, which were in really big venues to 20,000 seats, and I think that had a lot to do with why we put on more fast-paced songs. When you are playing a venue that size you need songs like that to get the crowd going, which is our job.

You invited UK artist Jade Bird to do a few shows with you last year. She supported you on your first UK show – what was it about her that made you want to bring her to the US?

I love Jade. Jade is killing it right now too, she was just on Fallon. She is such a dork – hahahahha! I am just kidding. Her music is so universal and she is just so bubbly and sweet and awesome. Everybody needs to hear her.

I agree.

You have just been announced as part of the first ever Long Road Festival, which is so exciting.

I was so happy when they asked me to play, I wasn’t going to say no.

I will hopefully get to hear both your version and Lee Ann Womack’s version of Shine On Rainy Day.

Oh yeah, I didn’t think about that. Maybe Lee Ann and I could get together and make one version at the festival, that would be pretty cool.

Oh, please make that happen, ha! Are you playing on the same day?

I think so.

If I see her version, then I will have seen yours, hers and Andrew Combs’; I would have completed the trilogy, ha!

Any other shows whilst you’re over?

I believe that’s the plan; I believe we will stay for a little while and try to do a few shows.

Oh, good.

Where is your favourite place to hang or eat in Nashville?

My favourite bar is called the Music City Bar and Grill. It’s up near the Opry Mills. My fav place to eat is probably Pepperfire Hot Chicken.

Well, thanks so much for chatting with me and I look forward to seeing you back in the UK soon.


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