Brent Cobb’s highly-anticipated album Southern Star is finally here, and this is a drop-what-you’re-doing and give it a listen kind of record.
Heavily influenced by the soulful, southern sound of legendary Georgia artists before him, like The Allman Brothers and Otis Redding, and inspired by his own experiences as well those of the people around him, the Ellaville, Georgia native’s laid back authenticity shines through in a lyrical masterclass and ode to home.
A songwriter’s songwriter, who is regarded by his peers within the industry as someone who has truly mastered his craft, Cobb has long been a hit songwriter, having penned lyrics throughout his career for Luke Combs, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and more of Nashville’s biggest stars.
As far as his original music goes, though, Cobb released his debut album No Place Left to Leave in 2006, featuring his biggest hit to date “Black Creek.”
As he focused on his Nashville songwriting gig, it would be ten years before Cobb’s next album Shine on Rainy Day was released. Within the last five years, though, Cobb has focused more on his own music and released three fantastic records with Providence Canyon in 2018, Keep ‘Em On They Toes in 2020, and his gospel project And Now, Let’s Turn to Page… in 2022.
With a strong catalog of songs that have influenced countless other artists and garnered Cobb a fervent fanbase, it seems as if Southern Star may have even been his most-anticipated project yet. And with its release today, it’s safe to say the album hasn’t just lived up to the hype, it has exceeded it.
While there are plenty of legendary studios throughout the Southeast, there are really only a few that truly sit atop southern music lore for their role in the production of the region’s greatest music, with names that automatically invoke a sense of nostalgia fueled by the southern music of yesteryear.
There is Sun Studios in Memphis, TN, there’s both F.A.M.E. Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in the Muscle Shoals, AL area, and then there is Capricorn Studios in Macon, GA.
Cobb settled down in the latter of the three to self-produce Southern Star with assistance from Oran Thronton and a who’s who of other Georgia native musicians.
Cobb released the album’s title track as the lead single back in June, and followed that up throughout the summer with two more singles, “Patina” and “When Country Came Back to Town.”
Rounding out the 10-track record with seven brand new songs, Southern Star is a cohesive collection of songs inspired by Cobb’s experiences in the South, but with themes relatable to listeners no matter where they reside.
Considering a wide array of subject matter ranging from deep thoughts on mortality to backyard barbecues, and just about everything in between, Southern Star will have you cracking a beer for a good time one second, and contemplating life the next.
“You know how when you’re growing up, you’re told that if you ever get lost out there, look for the northern star to help find direction back home? Well, I’m from Georgia. So, I always look for the southern star.
This album, the songs, the sounds… it’s all a product of where I’m from both musically and environmentally. Historically and presently that place also happens to be the same place that cultivated a good many of the most influential artists in the whole world of music.
Music as we know it would not exist without the American south. It’s funky and sentimental. It’s simple and complex.”
Full of southern imagery and clever lyricism, the songwriting is impeccable, and with an A-list of musicians backing Cobb, it’s just as powerful sonically.
Fresh off of what sounded like an album release show for the ages at Bobby’s Idle Hour in Nashville earlier this week, here is Cobb’s brand new album.
1. “Southern Star”
“Under the southern star I heal all of my scars As cicadas sing ain’t it the sweetest dream Winding kudzu vines untangle up my mind How beloved is my home sweet home…”
2. “It’s a Start”
“Well it’s springtime down around Slaughter Creek Dirt Road I bet the crawfish bite any bait thrown in the hole Got my six string strung, this song on my heart It ain’t about a thing but by God it’s a start
And it feels so good being here with you Just burnin’ firewood Tellin’ jokes we learned from old folks Sippin’ Cokes with barbecue…”
3. “Livin’ the Dream”
“Hold tight don’t fight we can all get with it on a Saturday night Like whatchu say, you wanna come play We can do it like we did way back in the day Just livin’ the dream”
“Where do we come from, where do we go? Answers to questions we may never know All I know is we got right now We’re all chasing for something, a place in the sun Like time and the tide, life don’t wait on no one All I know is we got right now…”
5. “‘On’t Know When”
“Well goodness gracious all these faces Nosin’ where they don’t belong I used to give two cents for nothin’ In return boy the moment’s gone Now I do my best to pay attention ‘Bout went broke tryin’ to pay some mind It’s not that I forgot to mention Folks I chose to leave behind…”
6. “Kick the Can”
“I was young just a kid Lived true stories never fibbed Riverbank Friday night God almighty hold me tight Skip the law can’t be found Ride around all over town Hit the dirt kick the can Mess around and start up a band
Time rolls on It’s the same ol’ song…”
7. “Devil Ain’t Done”
“I went down to the crossroads I looked the devil in the eye Smashed his guitar, stole his Cadillac Then I rolled on down the line…”
8. “When Country Came Back to Town”
“Beyond the pickups and the backroads You could almost hear it play Though it was softer than a whisper through the pines Some say it never left some say that it got saved Some say like everything it changes over time Well all I know for certain is I’m glad i was around When country came back to town…”
9. “Miss Ater”
“And the rain in Sylvester falls harder than anywhere Like the devil’s got his fist on your house And the dirt road and tobacco fields have looked the same for all these years Like God forgot to finish this town…”
10. “Shade Tree”
“Under the shade tree Laid back with a cane pole If they ain’t bitin’ Still soothes my country soul And that’s where you’ll find me Right at home…”
Brent Cobb has been around the block a time or two, and he’s been at the top of his game for quite some time, but it seems as if he has reached new heights with Southern Star.
If you like what you’ve heard on Cobb’s latest project, get out and catch him live as he tours on the album this fall.