Editor’s note: With live music and concert reviews on hold due to COVID-19, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is focusing on how Georgia musicians are spending their time in our new feature, Mic Check.
Everything about Brent Cobb happens quietly.
The soft-spoken native of Americus who grew up in nearby Ellaville, has written songs for Miranda Lambert (“Sweet By And By,” “Old S***”), Little Big Town (“Stay All Night”), Kenny Chesney (“Don’t It”), among others.
His 2006 debut, “No Place Left to Leave,” was produced by his cousin, six-time Grammy Award-winner Dave Cobb and in 2018, Brent Cobb, 33, released this third album, “Providence Canyon.”
In between, he received a Grammy nomination for 2016’s “Shine on a Rainy Day” (best Americana album), appeared on Dave Cobb’s “Southern Family” compilation with artists including Chris Stapleton and fellow Georgian Zac Brown that same year, and toured with Stapleton in 2018 during his “All-American Road Show.”
Last week , he joined fellow native artists including Amy Ray, Michelle Malone and Chuck Leavell for the online benefit concert, “Georgia on My Mind,” during which he played “Little Stuff.”
Recently, Cobb, who briefly lived in Los Angeles in the mid-2000s, then Nashville for a decade before moving back to Georgia, talked about his, well, quiet life during the coronavirus pandemic with his wife, 5-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.
Q: How has it been going for the last couple of months?
A: For a songwriter, this self-quarantining might not be the worst thing. I'm a homebody. I've always had to tour, but I don't really enjoy touring. I've been writing every day and fishing, trying to teach my daughter how to ride a bike.
Q: What are you listening to?
A: I listen to a lot of old music. I've been into Jerry Lee Lewis a lot. His "Country Memories" album from the mid-'70s, it's one of those old country albums you can just sit with in the evening. It's like listening to an old friend. A lot of Roger Miller, a lot of Willie Nelson. We play vinyl, but a lot of times it's more convenient to put on iTunes. I have a Delbert McClinton and Glen Clark record on vinyl and that's probably my prized possession to find. One thing I miss about L.A. is Amoeba (Music). That was a great convenience.
Q: What do you miss?
A: I just miss the freedom and camaraderie of being able to visit people. That's all we used to do in the old days. You'd ride around on Sunday and visit the neighbors. (I miss) just getting out and giving someone a hug. Now when someone tells you that you can't do it, that's when you want to do it more. I miss being able to drop the kids off at their grandparents for the day, but I can't complain because I'm gone so much when this isn't happening and I'm touring, and when I'm touring I just can't wait to get home.
Q: When do you think people will be ready to go back to live music?
A: It's hard to say. Part of me wants to think that it is safe whenever the officials determine it's safe to go out. I'd like to think people miss it like crazy and would go out immediately, but I have a feeling people are going to be a little shy. We're still shooting for the fall (to tour), but who knows? Now the experts say it might flare up again in the fall. For me, it's not the same experience, but people really enjoy the livestreams, and hopefully, they'll keep tuning in, even if we can't do anything until 2021, I'm OK with it.
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Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com