Audio Mixers: Dave Cobb; Matt Ross-Spang.
Recording information: Low Country Sound, Nashville, TN.
Photographer: Don VanCleave.
In the decade since releasing his 2006 debut, Brent Cobb also emerged as a Music Row songwriter, landing songs with high-profile artists like Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and Kenny Chesney, among others. His move into the Nashville establishment may have brought his career some well-deserved success, but as an artist, his heart remained rooted in the Deep South of his hometown, Ellaville, Georgia. Produced by Brent's cousin Dave Cobb (Shooter Jennings, Sturgill Simpson) at his Low Country Sound studio, Shine on Rainy Day is personal and soulful, with little of contemporary country's gloss and a stripped-down, earthy poeticism that some have likened to Kris Kristofferson's early albums. On these ten songs, small-town Georgia -- its sights, smells, feelings, residents, and customs -- are Brent's muse and partner. It's a world he sketches in "South of Atlanta," a gently sprawling five-minute waltz whose lyrics celebrate a town "where the water is clean, loblollies grow tall and winters ain't mean." It's a feeling he yearns for in the easy rise and fall of "Country Bound," as he questions what's missing in his crowded city lifestyle. Even when not directly addressing his muse, its tone and texture creep in on deep, bluesy tracks like "Let the Rain Come Down" and "Black Crow," the latter of which features some fine slide work by Jason Isbell. Framing the songs are Dave's unfussy arrangements and natural production style, which really bring out the relaxed intimacy of Brent's writing. Whether it's the family connection or merely a shared understanding of what is needed, the two Cobbs seem to bring out the best in each other on this fine release. ~ Timothy Monger