Album Review: Brent Cobb’s ‘Shine On Rainy Day’

I am not exactly sure when Traditional Country Music became known not as Country, but as a part of the Americana movement. If you listen real closely to the music of Brent Cobb here, you will simply hear what I have always called Country music.

However, it seems that definition has changed a little over the years. Don’t worry, I’m not going into the diatribe about what Country music is or what it isn’t. One listener will tell you one thing, and another will tell you something radically different. Let me just say that Brent Cobb is pretty damn good.

The Georgia native – a cousin to super producer Dave Cobb – has more than his share of moments to shine on this album. As I said previously, trying to categorize it isn’t going to work in today’s climate, but the bulk of what is on here sounds like it could have been recorded – and on the radio – in the mid-1980s. Songs like “South Of Atlanta” and “Country Bound” both have a feeling of longing for a place and a time where things were a little more simpler and less complex than they are now. Whether Cobb finds that inner peace when he gets there remains to be seen, but when he sings about, it’s well worth the search.

Cover art courtesy Sacks & Co.

Cover art courtesy Sacks & Co.

One aspect of Shine On Rainy Day that I really like is how Cobb can segue from one feel to the other – almost effortlessly. ”Solving Problems” has a light and easy feel to it – something that John Prine would mine gold with, while he turns dark on “The World.” There’s somewhat of a Gypsy-type sound on the old-school vibe of “Diggin’ Holes,” which brings to mind some of the songwriting of Rodney Crowell or the late Guy Clark.

Maybe the best song of the disc is “Traveling Poor Boy,” where Cobb is seemingly a man in search of a truth of some kind, and he handles the weariness of it rather well. The album ends with the one-two story song punch of “Down In The Gulley” and “Black Crow,” both of which would make Tom T. Hall and Ralph Stanley beam with pride, when it comes to its’ attention to detail.

This much is for sure. Dave Cobb is on a roll as a producer, and he continues to amaze with each and every project. Keeping this one in the family was a smart move because even though Dave isn’t a singer per se, nobody usually has a better feel for you musically than someone in your family. Together, they make quite the impactful sound!

Tags: Brent Cobb