Showing posts with label Dave Cobb. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dave Cobb. Show all posts

Jan 28, 2022

And Exchange it Some Day for a Crown: A Conversation with Brent Cobb

By Kevin Broughton 

One of my favorite political/theological commentators recently joked that modern Evangelical services consist of “a Coldplay concert and a Ted talk.” As the sage Homer Simpson once observed of every good joke, “It’s funny because it’s true.” Put another way, as a former pastor of mine once said, “Music in most Baptist churches now follow the ‘747’ model: Seven verses, sung 47 times each.” 


I’ve got a million of ‘em, folks.


I’m a “get off my lawn” Southern Baptist, and defiantly proud of it. And that’s why I love Brent Cobb’s And Now, Let’s Turn To Page…, his love letter to his, my and your youth, provided like him and me, you knew what it meant to be in church twice on Sundays plus Wednesday nights. 


Esoteric? Sure. This may not be your thing, if you’re not from the Deep South. But for authentic country music fans of a certain bent – and Cobb gets his “country” honest – this album will move you viscerally. It’s been a good while since I could “have church” just by listening to a record, but Cobb has made a joyful noise in such an authentic way. It’s time to spread the good news. 


In late November, we caught up with our fellow Georgian to talk faith, hymns, coincidences (spoiler: they don’t exist,) and meeting destiny at a clogging great aunt’s funeral. 




Hey, Kevin. It’s been a while, man.


About four years, best I can tell.


Yeah. Let’s do this!


This is the first “new” album I’ve listened to where I knew 90 percent of the lyrics ahead of time and found myself singing along involuntarily. A gospel record was on your checklist for a while, but something happened to move it up on the schedule. How about you let folks in on that?


Aight. Well, first of all, we’ve gotta make sure that it’s known as a Southern gospel album. (Laughs) I grew up with Southern gospel, and I grew up in Antioch Baptist Church, where we sang all of those songs. Of course back then it was just with piano and congregation. But I always had it in the back of my mind that that I would do a gospel record, because all my heroes did it: Johnny Cash, Elvis…Willie Nelson still closes out his shows with gospel songs.


But then last year, my son and I got T-boned at this little intersection, a four-way stop I’ve been going through my whole life – on the way to my grandparents’ house. And it’s really rural, a lot of Chinaberry trees, plus it’s in July so everything’s in bloom. And I did my best to look, but it was timed so this guy in a little Honda Civic was in my blind spot. He’s not from the area and didn’t see the stop sign, so he hit me full-on. 


My son was right behind me, and we got hit on the driver’s side of the truck. He was okay; I broke my collarbone. So that accident really hurried the making of a Southern gospel album along. 


And here’s what crazy about that story, too, that sort of relates: The first thing that I found when I was cleaning out my truck after the wreck was a Rosary that a priest had given me years ago on a Jamey Johnson tour. The necklace was slung way up on the other corner of the dashboard, and I found the cross between my seat and my son’s. But that whole situation’s what made me go ahead and record this album. 


By my Baptist count, there’s just one “invitation hymn” on the record, “Softly and Tenderly.” I imagine we’ve both sat (stood, more accurately) through altar calls set to this hymn – and others – that cycled through all the verses multiple times….


“…if anybody’s feelin’ it in their heart today, come on down.”


…exactly! That said, now seems a good time to ask about when you “walked the aisle.”


I was young when I walked the aisle. I was ten years old when I got baptized. It’s funny you ask about that. We played a show down here Saturday, and one of the guys I got baptized with, his daughter was at the show and we talked about that. 


When you’re young, you don’t really know about the world, but I just thought Jesus was really cool. The kids I grew up with, we went to Royal Ambassadors and all the different activities. In fact, when I was little – before I started sinning when I was about 16 or 17  – I thought I might want to be a preacher. Obviously, I didn’t go down that path. But yeah, I got saved and walked the aisle when I was ten.


Is this album more spiritual than nostalgic to you? The other way around, or a bit of both? 


It’s definitely both. It’s what I grew up with, as I was saying. But I sing these songs…I think I sing them better than I sing my own songs. I think it makes you sing different. My grandaddy, he led the singing at our church, but he wasn’t really a singer. But when he got up there to lead the songs, he could sing. I guess it was because he was singing those songs. And it’s the same way for me. I don’t try to push my beliefs on anybody, but it’s definitely spiritual on a personal level. But also nostalgic.


As we were setting up this interview, I mentioned that when my grandaddy died in 2000, my cousin and I sang “The Old Rugged Cross” at his funeral, and that it was fifteen years or so before I heard that hymn sung in a church house. You said that you’d had a similar experience that we could talk about. Now’s the time.


I actually have two stories about that. 


My grandaddy’s mother died when he was in his teens. Or he might have been in his twenties. Regardless, after the night she died, he and all his siblings woke up singing “The Old Rugged Cross.” The next day when they found out about their mom, they got to talking and every one of them said they woke up singing that song. “That was always her favorite hymn,” one said, and then each of them said the same thing. So, that song has always had a real personal connection to our family.


So, when my grandaddy passed away, April 4, 2012, me and my cousin were sitting on the front pew. And the piano was right there, and we had a guest singer who was gonna come in and sing that hymn because it was his favorite, too. The hymnal was already open, and every so often the breeze from the fan would turn a page. And when the singer sat down at the piano, it was opened to “The Old Rugged Cross.” He didn’t have to flip a page. 




Isn’t that somethin’?


And Now, Let’s Turn to Page…

 That’s right!


Let’s talk about some of the arrangements. The bulk of these hymns are traditional and acoustic, but a couple have distinct interpretations. “Are You Washed in the Blood,” with its thumping bass line strikes me as a Southern white boy’s funk-infused reimagining of some the great black gospel tracks.  On “When It’s My Time,” the band also lets it fly. Even “Softly and Tenderly” ends with a sweet guitar solo.  How did you and Dave decide when and where to step the sound up?


Well, here’s the deal. I call it a “Southern gospel” album because of the gospel, one, but also for Southern rock. All the music I grew up with was born of Southern gospel. Lynyrd Skynyrd – a huge influence of mine, you know? All the soul music – Otis Redding and all those greats – Southern gospel is all it is. So, for it to be a true Southern gospel album, I wanted to infuse all the sounds of the South that make the South so great. And Dave also does, you know? 


So, when we first went in, I wanted to make a Jerry Lee Lewis-type country album, but with gospel songs. But when we got to playin’, the first song where we really found the sound – and it wasn’t really intentional – was “Just A Closer Walk With Thee.” We hit that groove there – kinda laid-back, kinda Southern and funky – and we realized this album wasn’t gonna take the Jerry Lee Lewis approach. (Laughs) And we just kept findin’ stuff like that. 


Like on “We Shall Rise,” that was the last song we recorded. My great aunt Christine, she was Pentecostal. That was Dave’s grandmother, and she would come every so often and guest sing at our church. And since she was Pentecostal, she didn’t believe in instruments, so she’d come in with her clogs…




…Man, I know. But she’d have her hymnal while she was clogging, singing “We Shall Rise” in a good a Capella, and she would sing it at the top of her lungs. What’s also a coincidence – I don’t know if I believe in coincidences – is that it was the first single of the album, with no influence by me; that was my radio team. And her funeral is where I met Dave for the first time. I was a pallbearer at her funeral.




Pretty wild, huh?


Does Cousin have a Grammy winner in the “Gospel” category yet? Asking for a friend.


Dude, he’s got about every other one, doesn’t he? (Laughs) I don’t know, man. Here’s hoping. Who knows? 


You’re about to head out to the United Kingdom for a tour. Two-part question: (1) Is there one cut from this record you might consider springing on a British audience; and, (2) What’s the first thing you look forward to on your return?


Well, I’m sure I’ll play “When It’s My Time” when I’m over there. It’s not purely a gospel song, but I think a lot of people can relate to it. When I get back, I’m looking forward to flying straight to Texas and joining Robert Earl Keen on the “Merry Christmas From The Family” tour. That’s just a dream tour for me and I can’t believe I’m on it; he’s been a major influence of mine since I was a teenager. 


And I haven’t had a whole lot of time off. I just got off the road with Nikki Lane and Adam Hood, so I am looking forward to being at home for just a little stretch, anyway. 




Ye who are weary, come home: And Now We Turn To Page… is out today wherever you purchase fine music. 

Jan 22, 2021

Americana Bands Suddenly Back Singing About Farm Implements and Black Lung

Almost as quickly as they’d flipped the ideological switches 4 years ago, Americana artists this week returned to familiar pastures, turning their attentions from Donald Trump to subjects more native to the genre. Just like that, well-meaning but sometimes overwrought protest anthems were replaced by the sweet sounds of murder ballads and odes to ghost cowboys.

Some 35 new singles showed up in this writer’s Spotify Release Radar this morning from roots and folk artists, nary a one of them mentioning a “Cheeto” or border walls. Almost as if some dark cloud lifted from their minds, the lyrics of their songs suddenly saw tractors plowing the earth, drunks lamenting their lost loves, and coal miners praying for salvation on their death beds. 

Jason Isbell began work on his promised album of Georgia artist cover songs, even finding himself jovial enough to cover Charlie Daniels’ “A Few More Rednecks.”  BJ Barham of American Aquarium announced that his band was working on a new EP completely themed around North Carolina State’s signature wins in football (may have to be reduced to a single IMO). Even Will Hoge cracked a smile, vowing to release an album of songs about old pickup trucks and moonshining this March.

For his part, country and Americana legend Steve Earle was way ahead of the curve. “Oh I knew the emperor’s end was coming and it was time to get back to what we do best - and that’s singing about things from the 1950s as if they’re still relevant.” Indeed, Earle’s last 4 albums have been either covers or songs about trains, mining, and medicine show barkers.

At press time, producer Dave Cobb was booked from now until Labor Day 2023. Americana is healing. 

Jan 17, 2017

Top 10 Ways Nashville Will Respond to Sturgill Simpson's Popularity

10. Sign Virgil Simpson, Sturgill's tonedeaf cousin 

9. More songs about DMT

8. Ban pitch correction in lieu of barely discernible enunciation

7. Request Florida-Georgia Line try some of that "authenticity" stuff on for size

6. Vow to release another dumb bro-country song for every 
Facebook rant Sturgill goes on, out of spite

 5. Kidnap Dave Cobb; force him at gunpoint to produce Rascal Flatts next album

4. Quietly invite Sturgill to play the CMAs; never let anyone know 
about his 5 minutes of laughing on voice mail reply

3. Scour the hills of Kentucky for a salt-of-the-earth type who writes great songs; 
ruin him with spray tan, EMD, and emojis

2. Get Cole Swindell to cover "You Can Have the Crown" …very poorly

1. Just do whatever the fuck they were gonna do in the first place because 
they still don't know who Sturgill Simpson is

Jan 13, 2017

Brent Cobb: The Farce the Music Interview

Brent Cobb: The Farce the Music Interview

By Kevin Broughton

Brent Cobb is an old soul. He’s wise and even-keeled like you’d expect a man twice his 30 years to be. Heck, he sounds old on the phone; his conversational tone matches up with a grizzled roughneck, not the soothing troubadour on Shine On Rainy Day. Critical acclaim poured forth upon the album’s October release, and it finished at a heady No. 4 in the FTM critic’s poll – ahem – no small feat. Our intrepid publisher described perfectly it as “a slow drive down a gravel road on the outskirts of your hometown, with nary a bro in sight.” 

And therein lies the irony. Or paradox. Whatever, the bro issue is inescapable in a discussion of Cobb’s musical journey, and it’s evident that the dichotomy puzzles the man himself. Because this guy – who hasn’t needed a day job outside of music for 10 years – has written plenty of songs that bros and their producers have fattened their wallets on. And while Cobb would never say it, the bros and their auto-tuning technicians commit aggravated musical assault on his art, dumbing it down in the pursuit of (a) filthy lucre; and (b) the approval of millions of 80-IQ drones.

Oh, his frustration occasionally bubbles up, but in an understated way in keeping with his gentle temperament. Except that one time two years ago when he went into the studio to vent; that’s when “Yo, Bro” caught the ear of notable outlets like Rolling Stone. (Though, by the way, Cobb sent it to FTM first.) The magazine was one of many platforms to make the obvious comparison of his parody song to the work of one of the reigning bros, who happened to be a friend of Cobb’s.  It picked up steam to the point the artist felt compelled to preemptively reach out to the pop star in question. “He asked me,” Cobb said, “whether I was making fun of bros, or if it was something I wanted him to record.”


It’s a stretch to say Cobb has a foot in both camps. It’s indisputable, though, that there’s some overlap because of his personal and professional relationships. It gives him a unique perspective into the critical/commercial contrast, and you won’t find anyone with Cobb’s artistic integrity who has such a realistic window into the tragic dumbing down of country music.

When Jody Rosen coined the term “bro country” three and a half years ago, it cut deep with the thin-skinned millionaires whose songs are confined to beer, trucks and heavy petting with loose women. Jason Aldean – who stares at the orange juice can because it says concentrate – remarked, “It bothers me because I don’t think it’s a compliment.”

“You have no idea,” Cobb says, “how personally they take it. You wouldn’t think it would bother them too bad, since all they have to do is go to the mailbox and pick up a check. I don’t know why it bothers them so much, but it does.”

Brent Cobb may never sleep in piles of money; he’ll also never have to worry about the respect of his peers.

On a Sunday in December, Cobb took a break from singing the Frozen soundtrack with his little girl to talk about songwriting. And the music business. And having a cousin who churns out Grammys for the guys program directors ignore. The “bro” thing may have come up, too.

I’d like to start with a question about tradecraft. For a while you made a living writing songs for other people. Is there a different mindset for writing a song for somebody else? I would imagine you attack it differently, for instance, when the goal is to get a song on mainstream radio.

Well, I got lucky, really. I’m with a great publishing company, Carnival Music, that’s always supported people and let them be their own artists and writers. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.  There are a lot of places in town, where you go in and it’s a nine-to-five, and you have to try to write hits and that sort of thing. I’ve never had any of that kind of pressure. And for some reason I’ve gotten lucky enough; the songs I’ve written I’ve always done for myself. And I’ve been fortunate that there have been folks to record them.

About six months before the release of Shine on Rainy Day, there was the compilation from your cousin Dave Cobb, Southern Family. Your song on it, “Down Home,” seems like a preview for the album. Was that a song you’d been working on for a while? Put another way, if Dave hadn’t done the compilation, would that have been the eleventh song on Shine On?

I’m sure it would’ve been, man. It’s funny. I had gotten started on that song and had maybe a half a verse or a full verse. When Dave gave me a call [about the compilation] I knew it would be a perfect fit. But it’s definitely a Sunday in the life of my Southern family. And on my album there’s definitely a lot of that, so yeah, no doubt it would’ve been the eleventh track.

It looks like y’all had a lot of fun recording that one.

Oh, yeah. It was definitely good to get back in the studio with Dave; it had been about 10 years since I’d done that with him. So it was a blast. I’ve said this before, but he kinda produces the way I write. There’s a lot of spur-of-the moment stuff, and if he says, “something doesn’t feel right,” he means from his heart, not technically. And that’s the way I’ve always approached writing songs.

You met your cousin Dave, I believe, when you were about 16. He was an established producer then, but not the big name his is now in the industry. He’s kind of a big deal….

That’s what I’m saying!

…How big an asset is it to have a producer who’s not just blood kin, but the hottest hand in Nashville right now?

Ah, that’s gonna be pretty beneficial. It’s definitely helped me out a lot. When we first met I was 17, and he had produced Put the O Back in Country by Shooter [Jennings], which was one of my favorite records at that time and is still one of my favorites.

And it was funny, man. When I moved up here [Nashville]… well, actually, I moved to L.A. for a minute. I lived in the middle of Hollywood for about four months and went back and forth for about a year and a half. Then I moved back to Georgia, then back to Nashville in March of ’08. And I was looking around trying to find a publishing deal and learning about being a staff writer. And the first thing everybody asks is, “Are you a songwriter or an artist?”

So I would always say, “I thought they were one and the same.” And they said, “Well, we’ve gotta get you a producer.” And I told everybody the same thing, for eight years: I’ve got a cousin who’s a producer, and he’s badass. But folks were a little scared to invest money in someone who’s somebody’s cousin who happens to be a producer. And I didn’t have the money and Dave didn’t have the money, so we sorta did what we had to do there for a second. But now a lot of those naysayers are red in the face, I believe. [Laughs.]

Around the time Something More than Free came out, Jason Isbell talked about the collaborative way he and Dave worked in the studio. Your cousin, he said, had a real knack for knowing where to place a bridge, for example, or whether to start a song with a chorus or a verse. Did you experience a similar chemistry in the studio?

Yeah. Well, definitely on my first album, Dave would structurally set up songs. I was 17 at the time. And there’s still a lot of that because he’s just got such a great instinct for… well, I might think a song is incomplete and he might say, “I think it’s done; let’s just put this little melodic thing at the end.” He’s just fantastic, and that’s why everybody loves him, because he thinks like an artist. Well, he is an artist, not just someone who can afford a bunch of equipment and calls himself a producer.

I imagine he’s as valuable – if not more so – than any great session man.

Yeah! And going back to the staff-writing thing, I approach that the same way Dave does: It’s a collaboration that comes down to “What’s best for the song?”

How long had you been working on this batch of songs? Did you do any writing while in the studio?

Some of them longer than others. Like I said, I’ve always written for myself, so I’ve always had a deep pocketful of songs that kinda lent themselves to this album. But some of them I finished up in the studio in the moment; I might have a melody in mind and I’d say, “What do you think about this one, Dave?” So, a little bit of both.

There’s an uplifting air to this album of yours. There’s sort of a demarcation point, I think, between the first seven and last three songs, but for the most part there’s kind of a contentment running through it. Is this a reflection of your personality and general outlook on life?

I think it has to be. I come from a very musical family, a positive family, a loving family.  For me, it’s been a long decade professionally in music and I’ve seen some people come behind me and excel and surpass me. But I’m still rockin’, professionally. I’ve been able to make a living from just music for almost a decade. So I’ve gotta be positive.

The other thing I wanted to show, you know…I’m friends with everybody on both sides of the fence; I can’t really pick a side because I’ve got so many friends on both sides of this invisible wall. My thing is, I wanted to do country music in such a way that just because you’re going beyond scratching the surface and doing something a little deeper, it doesn’t have to be depressing. You can write something that feels good and also has a little more meaning to it, a little more depth.

So that was always in the back of my mind while I was putting this album together. And also – having a two-year-old – I wanted to put something out where if I never did anything else, my daughter could listen to it and say, “Man, that was my daddy’s album!”

From Brent Cobb's Instagram
You'd easily fit into the mainstream country neo-traditional revival (artists like Stapleton, William Michael Morgan, Jon Pardi).  You've seemingly gone the more straight-Americana/less-commercial route. Was that a business decision, or just staying true to your style and comfort level?

Yeah, it’s just the way I write. If you go the traditional or commercial route, there’s just so many people who have to get involved, and that wouldn’t have been a good representation of what I do. This album is just natural.

And, speaking of the commercial route, let’s talk about an elephant in the room. There are several folks in the “mainstream” camp who’ve recorded your songs. You wrote “Tailgate Blues” and Luke Bryan had a hit with it. (editor’s note: was a popular album cut)  It might be hard for folks to reconcile the songs on Shine on Rainy Day with that one. Was that a case of “well, that’s just what the music-listening public wants, so give it to them?”

No, that song was originally written for me. I had a verse or two, and it was originally called “Mossy Blues.” And I would ask people to go and listen to the lyrics of that song * before they made any judgments like, “Oh, he wrote that song for Luke Bryan.” Because – and I don’t really want to be the one to say it – if they listen to it, it’s structurally different. There are some of the same phrasings, but we’re from the same area. But I think you can tell the differences in depth.

And my co-writer, Neil Medley – it was one of the first songs I’d had a co-writer for, and this was about five years ago – he’s the one who said “Let’s call it ‘Tailgate Blues.’”

Well, that was certainly some foresight, right there.

[Laughs]. Isn’t that funny, man? And look, I’m not saying we were the first ones to write about a buzz, or write about a tailgate or crickets and stuff, because we damn sure were not. But during that time period not a lot of people were saying that stuff. And then, about a year or so after that…[laughs].

What’s more likely to happen: Brent Cobb writing another song about a truck, or Luke Bryan covering “Down in the Gulley?”

Luke would do Down in the Gulley.

Yeah, but would you want him to? Wait. You don’t have to answer that.

Of course I would! I want everybody to do whatever they want to do. Wouldn’t it be cool to hear Luke do Down in the Gully? That would probably change everything.

Well, it would help your bottom line, no doubt… So, you apparently dipped your toe into satire and wrote something called “Yo, Bro.”

[Laughs] Aw, I should’ve sent that to you.

I’d love to hear it, but I can’t, since all traces of it have disappeared from the Internet. Can you clear up this mystery?  

Ah, well…For about four or five years, I averaged doing about 120 dates a year, and when we found out we were having our baby, I decided I’d leave the road and just focus on songwriting. And during that time, it was at the height, the peak really, of the bro country movement, and I couldn’t get anybody to listen to any of my songs.

So I got kinda pissed off. And what happened…I won’t say any names, but I had a couple folks who are kinda high up – Luke WAS NOT one of them – a couple folks in that camp told me, “Man if you could just write some stuff that leaned that way, you could probably have a lot of success.” And it really bothered me because it ain’t that I can’t do that; I just don’t do that.

I decided to write something that was that style of song, and I wanted to do it better than they can write their own style of song. [Pauses] Against them. As a matter of fact, Neil Medley – the same guy who co-wrote “Tailgate” – that’s who I wrote “Yo, Bro” with. And it worked.** [Laughs] It did a lot of what I thought it would do; I figured it would go over a lot of the bro fans’ heads…

That’s not a very high bar, Brent…

And later they were like, “Wait, I think he’s making fun of us, but it doesn’t matter because it sounds so cool.” What I didn’t expect to happen was that a lot of the more traditional fans – I expected them to get the joke – but it kinda backfired on me and said, “Aw, he’s a bro hatin’ on bros.”

[Howls with laughter]…

Yeah, that’s what happened. So, I pulled it off the Internet. Someday I’ll put it back out there, but I took it off before I put this record out because I didn’t want people to be confused and not get the joke. Luckily we’ve got folks like [Trailer] and ole Trigger (Saving Country Music) who do get the joke. But a lot of folks didn’t, so I just didn’t want to deal with that.

Back to Southern Family for a second: It’s become a cliché, what with the mainstream country bros checking all the boxes (trucks, dirt roads, etc.) to show they’re authentically rural on all their songs. On “Down Home,” you touch all the bases yourself, yet it’s valid on its face. Did you write that song as sort of an ironic wink at the bro template?

Nah, I didn’t really think of it that way. The thing is, I’m friends with some of those guys. There was one time we were sitting around in the writing room writing a song, and I had this really cool idea.  Where I grew up my grandpa had a junkyard. He had a hundred acres that my great-grandpa bought for a dollar an acre after World War I, and on one part of it was this junkyard.

So I had this idea about how things rust away in a junkyard, but it can still be beautiful; a really rural song, you know? So this one guy – and man this is one of the top dudes, and again I’m not gonna say any names. He says, “Well, does that pass the Bubba test?” I asked him what the “Bubba test” was. “As in Bubba back home; is he gonna get it?”

It bothered me so much. And I was a young buck, just a low man on the [Nashville] totem pole. I told the guy, “Well, I don’t think we’re gonna be able to write anything together. Ever.” And I just got up and walked out. Who knows; maybe if I hadn’t walked out I could’ve had a bunch of bro hits. [Laughs] But it just bothers me, man. It’s an epidemic, and what I don’t understand is, those guys are from there (the rural South.) They know that things are deeper. I don’t know whose fault it is, whether it’s the fans of that music; I don’t know if it’s the record labels, or the radio, or if it’s just people getting there and selling where they’re from short. I don’t know whose problem it is. But it’s unfortunate, because it’s much richer, where we’re all from.

Yeah. As a lifelong Southerner, it chaps me when in the movies, for example, every Southerner is gonna be a dumb yokel…


…and these guys, they’re reinforcing that stereotype and lining their pockets. And now they’ve added an element of soft-core porn to it, singing about trying to get in some skank’s pants…


…and it’s not healthy.

You know, I hate to name-drop because I know these guys and they’re all heroes of mine. But my wife and I were talking about this the other day. Guys like Kristofferson and Willie, when they talked about a woman, it was so romantic. They did it in a way that was just beautiful, man. You can still do that, dammit. It’s the same way with movies, too. I love the movie Dazed and Confused; it’s funny because it’s real-life, not over the top. What’s happening in all genres of music, not just country, is that it’s over the top and exploitative of whatever the truth is.

Lastly, are you doing any new writing, or is that something that’s perpetual for you? And have you thought about what you might do for your next album?

I have thought about it and I’m really excited about doing the next album. It won’t stray too far from where I am already, though.

* Seriously, go listen. He’s right, and it’s a great song. When sung by Brent Cobb, of course.

** Oh, man, does it ever work. Since the interview, your humble correspondent received a copy from the artist on the condition of not circulating it. It is brilliant.

Nov 18, 2016

Exclusive: Luke Bryan Says He's Through Shaking It

Luke Bryan at the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.
Luke Bryan Says He's Through Shaking It
(Nashville, TN)

In a stunning exclusive, we can now report that Luke Bryan has left his music label -- UMG Nashville -- and plans to record what he calls "some old school country music." As of press time, he was in talks with several independent labels about continuing his music career at what he called "a dialed back and more real" level. Calls to UMG were not immediately returned; nor could rumors that Bryan left CEO Mike Dungan a strongly worded "I quit" voice mail be confirmed by anyone close to the artist.

Multiple sources, however, with intimate knowledge of Bryan’s plans -- but who spoke only on the condition of anonymity -- said the star hasn't announced new tour stops because he's cancelled all tour dates past December. They confirmed that his current single, "Move," will be his last release on mainstream country radio for the foreseeable future.

"He said, and I’m not kidding, ‘I'm through shaking it,’" according to one source on Wednesday. "He told me he’d looked in the mirror and just didn’t like what he saw," the source continued, before a long, seemingly disconsolate pause.  “I mean…I just don’t even know.”

Another member of Bryan’s inner circle thinks he has isolated the multi-platinum winner’s artistic turning point. “For the last year and a half, all Luke’s heard about is Sturgill this, Isbell that, blah blah Grammys, whatever,” this source said. “So he YouTube’d this Isbell guy and saw him playing live with John Prine and he yells to all the guys on the bus ‘What’s that little bitty fiddle thing that one dude has?’” It was yet another of Bryan’s coterie who told him the instrument in question was a mandolin.

“That’s when he chugged a couple more Red Bulls and just Googled for a while; not a single Fireball mini for hours. He was like so focused,” said the source. “Then he finds out some ‘Dave Cobb’ guy supposively [sic] has like the best studio to make you sound really, really good.”

Despite multiple, repeated – and ultimately unreturned -- calls from Bryan to Cobb’s Ryman-based recording studio offices, the singer appears to his intimates a man determined to cash in on the fledgling “roots” movement in country music. “Who knows?” said one source. “Here’s a perfectly normal, 40-year-old man signing about beer and [expletive] to college girls, and now it’s all ‘Y’all get me a banjo guy and a dude who can play that steel thing.’ I mean, what’s up with that [expletive]?”

While all of the confidential sources pushed back on the idea of “panic” within Bryan’s camp, each of them acknowledged that as their meal ticket stepped off into such uncharted territory, tensions are high.

"Pedal steel, fiddle, some resonator? What the [expletive] are we supposed to do in the studio now?” asked a source on the mega-star’s recording team. “Turns out he wants to write ‘a bunch of songs’ with that Cobb guy’s son [sic] Brent.  And John Prine turns down all our Snapchat requests.”

The news that its golden boy is gone – at least for the foreseeable future -- will likely shake Nashville to its core. The Leesburg, Ga. native has sold more than 7 million records and 27 million singles, and will be – regardless of his risky new ventures – always recognized as one of the founding fathers of bro country. We'll have more information on this fluid situation when it becomes available.

*by Trailer and Kevin Broughton

Nov 2, 2016

There's Something About Mary Country Reaction Gifs

When your stepson says he's a huge Big Smo fan

When you try to make your friend stop listening to Lindi Ortega

Riding with your Brantley Gilbert fan cousin like...

Did you know Dave Cobb is Brent Cobb's cousin?

 When your girlfriend walks in after 
you just listened to Turnpike Troubadours

When you meet Hunter Hayes


Related Posts with Thumbnails