We need to address some serious misinformation, fellow Outsiders. For too long now, people have been propagating the lie that country music is dead. Many people believe that artists just aren’t making good country music anymore. To a point, that’s an understandable position to take. After all, it seems like radio program directors and certain country music media outlets are hellbent on feeding us all the musical equivalent of potted meat. For those who don’t know where to look, it can seem like that’s all that’s available. Recently, Brent Cobb shared a song that serves as a treasure map to good country music.
Earlier this month, Brent Cobb shared the stage with Aaron Raitiere at the Basement in Nashville. During that show, he shared an unreleased track called “When Country Came Back to Town.” In the song, Cobb namedrops several of the best independent country artists out there today. Just about every name that he drops could disprove the “they don’t make good country music anymore” argument with a single song.
Brent Cobb Was a Fly on the Wall
“This is my account. I’ve been able to be a fly on the wall for a lot of things that have been cool to me,” Cobb said while introducing the song.
Brent Cobb released his debut record No Place Left to Leave in 2006. Since then, he has dropped four more albums while consistently touring and writing songs. Additionally, he is the cousin of Dave Cobb who has produced songs and albums for some of the biggest names in country music as well as some Outsider favorites. His credits include Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, John Prine, and many more.
Between his connection to Dave Cobb and his work as an artist, Brent Cobb has witnessed some of the biggest names in the independent country world make their mark. Cobb opens the song by giving a nod to two of our favorites: Shooter Jennings and Jamey Johnson. “I was there when Shooter Jennings rewound the sound like a cassette. / I watched Jamey Johnson cut ‘You Can’t Cash My Checks’.”
Later in the verse, he shows love to the late Steel Woods guitarist Jason “Rowdy” Cope and Leroy Powell before shouting out “Cousin Dave.”
At one point, Cobb jokingly addresses the crowd saying, “That’s right, it’s a whole song about namedropping, but I know these people.” However, it’s really more than namedropping and telling people the things that he witnessed. It also goes deeper than shining light on other independent artists. It’s a commentary on the current state of country music.
Digging a Little Deeper
At one point, Brent Cobb beautifully illustrates how real earnestly-penned country music coexists with the aforementioned musical potted meat. “Beyond the pickups and the backroads, you could almost hear it play. / Though it was softer than a whisper through the pines.”
However, the final lines of the song resonate deeply with what we strive to do at Outsider. “I won’t be stoppin’/ No namedroppin’/ ‘Til history books echo the sound/ Of all the folks who saddled up and drove country back to town.”
We’ll continue namedropping great artists like Mike and the Moonpies, Hayes Carll, Jason Boland, Cole Chaney, Willi Carlisle, Sarah Shook, The Local Honeys, Brent Cobb, and countless others. They’re all bringing real, earnest, traditional-sounding country music back and we’re here for every note.