Monday, November 7, 2016


Cobb's one of the recent breed of country singer-songwriters living outside the mainstream, with a lots of integrity and willfully staying away from the big drums and big production of most Top 40 country. He's had plenty of covers of his material by the likes of Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town, but is far closer to the Chris Stapleton/Jamey Johnson school. He was featured on the influential Southern Family compilation album with those two and others, the set hailing the new sound of the South. It was produced by Dave Cobb, a distant cousin who has taken to his relation's work, and does the duty here as well.

The Georgia native has the sound (acoustic based with haunting guitar licks) and the voice (nasal twang, Southern accent) down pat. He's still a little too flag-waving and Georgia-proud at times, and could be accused of having blinders on, especially given the Trump-sputtering, gun-totin' realities of U.S. life. Cobb tends to idealize his home (South Of Atlanta) as a place where time has stood still and there's always a game of checkers going on (he seriously sings this). He comes across much better when the songs aren't romanticizing the old hometown way of life that probably doesn't exist anymore. Title cut Shine On Rainy Day is a heartfelt ballad with an inherent sadness that doesn't rely on small town cliches. The darker he gets, the better he sounds as well, with Black Crow edgy and claustrophobic. But compare any of his songs to the asinine lyrics of most contemporary country, and I'll take a little Southern pride over that crap any day.

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