Hometown boy made good returns for fest
By LISA LAW
ELLAVILLE — The Springtime Ellaville Arts and Crafts Festival will be welcoming Brent Cobb, a hometown boy who has become an American country music singer/songwriter on Saturday, April 9. Cobb will be performing at the festival at 7 p.m. April 9.
Cobb said music runs deep in his genealogy. As a matter of fact his first exposure to country music was through his father, Patrick Cobb, well known around South Georgia for his band Slaughter Creek.
Brent Cobb said, “Yes, some of my earliest memories were of my daddy performing, when I was old enough, outside some honky tonk,” explaining his father had also gone to Nashville and had the opportunity to open for some shows and was offered a giant recording in 2002, but turned it down. He said his sister was age three and he was age seven and he knew it would call for him to be on the road a lot.
“He said he had family ties and didn’t want to miss out on that part of our lives,” said Cobb, reflecting on his early childhood days spent with his grandparents, especially his grandfather.
“We spent a lot of Saturday nights there and we would get up on Sunday morning and check the crawfish lines on Slaughter Creek, and then feed the hogs and chickens,” Cobb said.
He continued to grow in his country values, and owes his first steps toward his passion of singing and songwriting to his father.
Cobb said his dad always encouraged him and especially wasn’t ashamed to brag on him.
Cobb explained that he also played at various venues throughout South Georgia and had created a six-song soundtrack acoustic demo.” While attending the funeral of his great aunt, he met a cousin, Dave Cobb, who happened to be a big producer in Los Angeles.
Cobb said he was a little skeptical of what most folks call “Big City people;” however, his father was shameless in giving his cousin a soundtrack of his son to take into consideration.
Cobb said, “He was talking about being a big fan of Shooter Jennings. I was a big fan of Shooter Jennings. He put the old back into country music.”
Cobb said before he knew it, his cousin Dave was calling him.
“He said, ‘I have Shooter sitting right here with me and we would like to know if we can fly you to Los Angles and record an album?’”
Cobb said he was working for Harrod Tree Service at the time, and he remembered being too excited and commuted to Los Angles for about a year and a half, playing locally in various venues.
“It was a cultural shock for me,” he said. He experienced earthquakes, drive-by shootings and carjackings during his visits. “During my time at home, my band Mile Marker Five opened for a couple of shows like Luke Bryan and played gigs locally.” Cobb said he recorded his first album in 2006, called “No Place Left to Leave.”
Cobb said eventually he was invited to stay in Nashville for a week and that’s when his opportunities broadened.
“They liked my album and I was introduced to a couple of booking agents, and publishers such as Capitol Records. It was a whirlwind of people,” he said.
Cobb said he came back home and starting contemplating, “ ‘If I am a writer, I need to be in Nashville.’ So I decided to move to Nashville in March of 2008,” he said. He was 20 years old at the time.
“While I was in Nashville, I worked developing pictures at Walgreen’s,” he said.
“It was there where I met a publisher of Carnival Music. We talked and he set me up with a co-writer,” he said describing the road to opportunity was a little discouraging at times.
“Well, I didn’t get signed. Things were a little slow. At the end of the year I began to get a little frustrated,” he said, describing a phone call he made before deciding to head back home.
“I was asking myself, ‘What am I doing here? I can develop pictures in Georgia!’ So I decided to call the publisher at Carnival one last time. I asked him, ‘When are we going to make a deal?’”
“We made a deal,” he said, and his songwriting career took off. Cobb said among some of his songs are Tail Gate Blues, performed by Luke Bryan; Hold Me Closely, performed by the Oakridge Boys; Go Outside and Dance, performed Eli Young and Pavement Ends, performed by Little Big Town.
Cobb said in 2012, he decided to make an extended play album with himself as the artist.
“Then, I went on my first major tour with Willie Nelson. The tour was called Country Throw Down. Then I put together another band for three and a half years with 120 dates a year,” he said. “I opened for Blake Shelton, Tip Moore, and Miranda Lambert.
“At the time country music was going through what I call ‘bro’ music. It was too much like hip hop. That wasn’t my thing,” he said. He had recently been married to Layne and they had their first child Lyla. “It was time to take some time off the road ,” he said.
“Once I took some time off, the calls started coming in. Things started picking up. My cousin Dave called and said, ‘Hey, I’m putting together an album called Southern Family, a concept album and I want you to be a part of it,’ ” he said. Cobb said the album would consist of himself and country singers such as Miranda Lambert, Jason Isbell and the Zac Brown Band, and many more, singing songs about southern family and upbringing.
“I wrote a song and I co-wrote with Miranda Lambert. Then, Dave said, ‘Why don’t we make a solo album?’”
It 2014 by then.
“My cousin Dave won Academy of Country Music (ACM) Album of the Year (Traveller, recorded by Chris Stapleton) and he won Producer of the Year in 2015,” Cobb said. Cobb appreciates that his cousin has opened many doors of opportunity for him.
“I decided to make a solo album which is coming out this summer. I signed a deal with Atlantic Records,” he said proudly. He now contemplates his accomplishments and how they have transformed.
“I don’t know how religious you are, but it’s amazing when I look back,” he said: deciding to pursue his career was like picking up where his father left off and Cobb said his Creator had a lot to do with it.
“Daddy stayed home to raise me and my sister,” he said. “He played in his band Slaughter Creek and worked on appliances. But without my Daddy I wouldn’t have become the man I am today,” he said. “I wouldn’t be who I am today without him. I could be someone totally different without him being there for me and I know God had a hand in the deal.”
The concert at Springtime Ellaville begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 day of the concert.
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