My interview with Brent Cobb

Up until my college years I hardly gave country music a second thought. It’s funny to think back on that now, because it’s currently such a big part of my life. My sister Meg initially introduced me to it – we used to be obsessed with Faith Hill’s Fireflies album. And then once I started dating Colin I was pretty much forced into liking country music. If I didn’t come around to the country music scene, it definitely wouldn’t have worked out between us, that’s for sure. To be quite honest, Colin hardly knows any other music exists – its country music 24/7 in his life for the most part. In fact, he was the one who introduced me to Josh Turner (who is amazing) and because we went to Josh’s concert last summer (and had a great time!) together we discovered Brent Cobb, one of the most refreshing musicians I have seen in a while.

From the moment he stepped on stage and played his first song we were both hooked. I remember tweeting away and later writing a blog post about how great both Brent and Josh were. You see, when I find something/someone etc. who is so talented – I just want to shout it from the rooftops. I want everyone to like them!

Luckily enough, I got to interview Brent recently. I received Brent’s call promptly at 10am and after picking up the phone and hearing his slow, southern drawl say, “Hello, Colleen?” my heart melted a little. (Sidenote: As an engaged woman I can say this because I’m fairly certain Colin’s heart would have also melted a little. We don’t hear nice southern accents very often). After I picked up, we got right into my many questions so I could learn all about Brent Cobb.

Brent Cobb courtesy of Carnival Music Publishing

CM: So, you just finished up with the Throwdown Tour? How was that?

BC: It was my first big tour and it was with none other than Willie Nelson, so it was like a dream come true. Now, I have to tell you a story if you don’t mind. I was so thrilled to be on the tour – my first big tour with all of these amazing people – I went around asking everyone to sign my tour poster. My girlfriend was at one of the shows so I asked her to take the poster home with her and you’ll never believe what happened. She left my tour poster at the hotel by accident! So now some random person has a really cool tour poster signed by everyone. {laughs}

CM: What was your favorite city to visit?

BC:Pozo, California

CM: When did you know that you wanted to be a singer/songwriter? Was it from a young age, or is it something that just happened over time?

BC: It definitely evolved, but it was from an early age – I remember writing my first song on the way to my grandmother’s house with my little sister on Easter. It was called, ‘The Easter Song’ {laughs}…I used to think I just wanted to write stories and plays – I knew I wanted to be a writer at a very early age. Mark Twain was Samuel Clemens alias and I thought he was so cool. I wanted to come up with a name of my own. My friends decided Brent was short for Brentabus, and then somehow they started calling me Keifus C. Reilly. That was my writer’s name. But anyway, to answer your question, yes, I knew I always wanted to be a writer and over time it evolved into a song writer.

CM: You’re originally from Georgia, from a musical family. How has that affected your career?

BC: In every single way it affected me. Usually families don’t support this career I have – a singer/songwriter – because it seems so far-fetched. But growing up every room had music playing in it, so being from a family like that, I’ve always had everybody’s support. When you have that kind of support system, they sky’s the limit.

CM: Who taught you how to play the guitar?

BC: My daddy would teach me a cord a week. He’d show me the D cord and told me to work on that for a week. Then we’d come back in a week and he’d show me another. I don’t know anything too fancy. I don’t know…it’s definitely a blessing. It’s one of the few things that have really come naturally to me.

CM: Who are your biggest musical influences?

BC: All of my family members – my mama’s brothers and my daddy and his brothers. Every song I heard growing up, I just thought that they wrote it. My mama and her brothers are from Cleveland oh and they would play Zeppelin songs and “Harvest Moon” and “Black Bird”. And my daddy loved doo wop, and then his brothers would play old country songs. All these styles of music helped me to create my own sound, do my own thing.

CM: Who are your favorite musicians now?

BC: They are all still my favorite musicians {his family members}. But to be honest, you know what I’ve been listening to on my iPod for the last month? Eminem’s album Recovery – that is all I’ve listened to. Some of it is really crude, but the way he tells how he really feels is so inspiring to me.

CM: You’re currently in Nashville, right?Nashville is my #1 place I want to visit right now. When I finally get to visit Nashville what will I have to do, see eat, listen to, visit, etc. while I’m there?

BC: Yea, I’m based out of Nashville – I’ve been here for 4 years now. For places to eat, there’s no doubt about it – when you get here you have to go to Swett. It was opened in 1950 I think. It is the best southern food you’ll ever have in your life, unless you’ve been to my mama’s house. Yea it’s the best, Swett, so write that down. As for music, Robert’s Western World, they have really good country music in there. Pretty standard country music.

CM: You did a little stint in LA also, right? I can imagine LA was extremely different from Georgia and Nashville. What did you love (if anything)? Hate? Was it a good experience?

BC: It was a love/hate relationship. I am so grateful that I went to LA first before Nashville. I don’t know what its like to try and be a pop star and create pop music in LA, or to be an aspiring actor in LA. But I know what its like to try to make country music. And because there’s not much country music out there, I felt like I could create the scene. I liked the musical freedom there. The people – not so much. I’d walk into places with my southern accent and I honestly felt discriminated against.

CM: Back to the music – what was recording your first album (No Place Left to Leave) like? It’s amazing by the way.

BC: It was kind of like a movie. I had a great aunt who passed away. I was 18 – I was a pallbearer at her funeral –  and we heard that one of my cousins, who was a producer out in LA who worked with Shooter Jennings (and I was a big Shooter Jennings fan at the time – still am actually) was coming to the funeral, so my dad said I should give him my acoustic demo. I was embarrassed and didn’t want to do that, so my family gave my LA cousin my demo cd without me knowing it. My cousin, he brought my cd into the studio and said “tell me if I’m crazy or not”, then played it for Shooter. He said, “No, you’re not crazy…get that kid out here.” I remember getting the call – I had just got home from work and got a call from my LA producer cousin Dave who was with Shooter Jennings. They told me they wanted to fly me out to LA to record. A week or two later, I flew out for a week, recorded a couple of songs – and then flew back and forth…And at that time Shooter was recording his second album with his band and they were really living the life – it was crazy. Have you ever seen the movie Almost Famous? I felt like that journalist in the movie hanging out with the band. Dreams do come true, don’t you forget that Colleen.

CM: What is your favorite song to perform?

BC: It kind of depends, if I had just wrote a new song I’m usually so excited to play that. That usually fires me up. Roger Miller – back in the 60s – sang “I’ve Been A Long Time Leavin’ (But I’ll Be A Long Time Gone)”…I do Waylon Jennings version of that.  Also, Marshall Tuckers “Fire On The Mountain”.

CM: My fiancé and I saw you at the South Shore Music Circus last year with Josh Turner – it was a great show and we were so happy to have heard you play! Josh Turner seems awesome – how to you like being on the road with him?

BC: I really like it. Were not sharing a bus or anything, but we’re playing the shows together. He’s such a nice guy, you can tell he’s a guy you can look up to. He’s just a really good guy. And his wife plays in the band which is really cool!

CM: If you could only choose one, what would it be – performing or song writing?

BC: Right now I’m in limbo. This was the first big tour I did – 6 weeks, which is a long time to be on the road. It was awesome. Years ago, I never planned on leaving Georgia – I used to think I’d have a normal job with a wife and kids. I have such a great family and I’ve always wanted that for myself. But I love being on stage and sometimes I forget about those dreams. But I still have plenty of time to do that. It worries me sometimes that I’m going to miss out on that. If I could have two top 20 songs, and then just retire as a performer and only be a song writer that would be perfect.

CM: You mentioned your girlfriend. Is it hard dating someone while you’re on tour for song long?

BC: She lives and works in Georgia. She’s a pharmacist – she’s working on her own career and her own life and I’m doing the same. I miss her every day. We’ve been together since before all of this started. She’s a great woman and I try and be a great man for her, and hopefully we can stick through it. Sometimes the wait is worth it ya know?

CM: Who is your dream musician to collaborate with?

BC: Dead? Roger Miller. He’s passed. He’s one of my all time favorites in country music. Best song writer, best singer, best in the studio. Everything was his idea. I don’t know if that’s true, but id like to believe it’s true. And alive? Mumford and Sons would be really cool. And Eminem!

CM: What do you want people to know about you?

BC: Musically? I have a hard time sitting down to write a song that isn’t real to me – something that I didn’t personally experience. So I want people to know I’m real.

CM: Ok, time for a game of favorites! Favorite…

Beer? Coors Light. Or Blue Moon with an orange in it.

Song? My absolute favorite song is by Austin Lucas, from Indiana, if you haven’t heard of him, look him up. “Sun or Snow” is a song about how he’s holding a grudge against his best friend – he misses his friend’s wedding, his first-born child. Then his friend dies, and he’s missed all this. Its just such a powerful song, I haven’t hard a song that’s made me tear up since I was like 13, till this one. I don’t know why but that day in San Diego I really listened to that song and it just overwhelmed me.

Food? Mexican pizza from Taco Bell – that’s if I’m so hungry and I’ve got to eat right then. I really enjoy fried pork chops.

Movie? Cool Hand Luke

Candy? Snickers bar I guess, I don’t really eat too many sweets.

Place to visit? Home {Ellaville, Georgia}.

Book? The complete short stories of Mark Twain. I think Mark Twain is awesome.

Place to hang out? Back home, my great granddaddy he bought a hundred acres of land in South  Georgia– he had bought it for $1 an acre – all my life, we always had our shindigs there, its right in the middle of the woods.

Brent seems like one of the nicest guys ever, and he’s also an extremely talented musician. I hope you’ll check out his music (my favorite song is called “I’ve Been Known”!) as well as his Facebook/Twitter pages, and who knows? Maybe even his concert this Saturday night?! I’ll be there so be sure to say hi. :)

Summer’s coming! That means good concerts are in store…

Great resources for concerts this spring/summer:

Bank of America Pavilion (Florence and the Machine, Ray Lamontagne, Weezer, Ke$ha, John Butler Trio and more)

South Shore Music Circus (Darius Rucker, Josh Turner, Chicago, Beach Boys and more)

House of Blue Boston (Diddy, My Chemical Romance, Guster and more)

The Cape Cod Melody Tent (Martina McBride, The Monkees, Elvis Costello, Saw Doctors and more)

TD Garden (Keith Urban, Rihanna, Sade, Dispatch and more)

Comcast Center (Phish, Sugarland, Jimmy Buffett, Sublime, Journey and more)

Gillette Stadium (Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney)

And if you’re in the New York area, Jones Beach is definitely worth checking out!

I love concerts

I’ve been to lots of concerts – everything from Liza Minnelli (seriously) to Talib Kweli, N*Sync, Destiny’s Child and everything in between – mainly because I love music (especially a good live show) and simply because they’re a really fun activity to do with your boyfriend, friends, family, etc. Some of my favorite memories in the world are enjoying a concert at Jones Beach on a warm summer evening. Do you love going to concerts?

Some of my favorite concerts:

Jack Johnson (Comcast Center, MA) – because he’s my favorite

Pearl Jam and U2 (Aloha Stadium, HI) – great combo/it was in Hawaii/I met Jack Johnson at the concert. Life in Hawaii is good!

Nelly (Nassau Coliseum, NY) – because I was a sophomore in high school and thought I was, plus Kelly Rowland came on stage and sang ‘Dilemma

The Doobie Brothers (Westbury Music Fair, NY) – because I was about 15 years old and went to a Doobie Brothers concert with my parents. So fun!

Britney Spears (Nassau Coliseum, NY) – one of my first concerts I ever went to – I’ve always been a big Britney fan and I’m not ashamed of it!

James Taylor (Jones Beach, NY) – because he is absolutely perfect live. I’ve grown up listening to him and we always go as a family which is very nice. His music always reminds me of happy times with my family

The Sprite Liquid Mix Tour featuring Jay-Z, NERD, 311, Nappy Roots, and more (Jones Beach, NY) – Jay-Z is my all time favorite rapper. Great show

Brad Paisley (Gillette Stadium, MA) – One word for you = Countryfest. Friends, grilling, drinks, warm weather, good music…doesn’t get much better than that

Sara Bareilles (House of Blues, Boston) – I love her. Was my first time at HOB Boston, great place, great show!

Billy Joel and Elton John (Nassau Coliseum, NY) – The Piano Man, Crocodile Rock, Downeaster Alexa, Benny and the Jets? Dueling pianos? Yes please!

John Mayer (Central Park, NYC) – Summer. Light rain. Central Park. John Mayer. Pretty romantic. Loved every minute of it

Josh Turner (The South Shore Music Circus, Hingham MA) – Colin and I had such a romantic little date at the Josh Turner concert last summer

George Strait and Blake Shelton (Tinley Park, IL) – My girlfriends from Boston were visiting me in Chicago. I was elated!

Saw Doctors (Nokia Theatre, NYC) – New York, St. Patrick’s Day weekend and a band from Ireland? Guaranteed good time

Dave Matthews Band (Randall’s Island, NY) – Come on! Everybody has to go to a DMB concert at some point in their lives

Green Day (Giants Stadium) – Mary and I met tons of randos at this concert, made up a few fake names, and rocked out. I still chuckle when I think of this night. Plus, Dookie? Amazing album. My mom took that away from us when we were little! teehee

The Counting Crows (Grant Park, Chicago) – A free concert in the middle of a beautiful park? Singing Mr. Jones? Sign me up!

Salt n’ Pepa & Heavy D up in the limousine

Having both a blog and a full-time job that require a huge social media aspect is interesting. The question I’ve been trying to answer is, do I blend them? Do I let one cross over into the other? Is it okay to mix my personal blog with the business aspect of my life?

I’m pretty sure I’ve ultimately decided I’m not going to intertwine the two. At least for now. That will be too confusing/too much for me. However, today’s deal is really cool and I’m pumped about it so I figured I would share. I won’t bombard you with the daily Saves on my blog, if you’re interested please sign up for the daily email that way you’ll know what we’re featuring every day. We get some really awesome Saves so it’s worth checking out!

Anyway, it truly is a company/idea I believe in, so that’s why I’m sharing this with you guys. Eversave really helps connect the community through getting great deals with local merchants, donating percentages of the Saves back to local charities/school foundations and getting new customers in the door to these restaurants, spas, salons, etc. I hope you like it! Any questions, feel free to email me, Any local charities you’d love to see partnered with Eversave, give me a shout as well and we can work to make it happen.

So, today and tomorrow we’re featuring Sunset Limousine on our site. You pay $50 to get $100 towards any limo or party bus rental. Personally I think this is pretty sweet. We friggin loved party buses in college, they were such a great time for birthday parties, so this would definitely be good if you have a birthday or a friend’s birthday coming up. Also great for wedding parties or bachelorettes. Good for Pat’s games, concerts, kids birthdays, etc. If you like the sound of it, check it out! Thanks for listening to my schpeal. :)

More info? Check it out here.

No excuses, blog like a champion

I have been such a slacker; zero blogging this weekend. I am ashamed of myself. Please accept my most sincere apologies. My new motto will now be, ‘No excuses, blog like a champion.’

Happy Spring everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed the BEAUTIFUL weather we had over the weekend, especially Saturday.

Now even though we had such a great day, it was hard not to be jealous of this picture message I received from my sister Kelly who was hanging out with my parents in Vegas. I may be a weeee bit jealous but I’m also really happy they’re having such a good time!

Kelly's lounging poolside and Colleen is jealous.

I started my Saturday off with a 9am appointment at the Robert Jason Salon in Andover. I didn’t want to be inside at all, but since my roots were taking over I needed some highlights asap (not a natural blond, big surprise! Is there such thing as a ‘real blond’ anyway?)

This was my first time to the salon – I have given up on my old hair stylist due to the fact that a visit to her salon is like a glimpse into the life of one of the ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ (or Revere.) Also, the whole experience never takes less than five hours and you won’t leave without hearing an inappropriate story such as the time she got into a screaming match with her boyfriend in the driveway, which resulted in her breaking his windshield. To top it all off, they had ice-cold water to wash your hair – not exactly a pleasant experience. She always gave me a great cut and excellent highlights, but it’s time to move on. When you feel like your stylist should be paying you, instead of the other way around, it’s time to find a new one.

Back to the Robert Jason Salon… It was awesome! Everyone was so nice and the girl who did my hair (Ashley) did a wonderful job. I will definitely be going back. I highly recommend it.

And, new customers get $25 off their first visit!

Next, I convinced Colin to come for a run. My body was tired but since I’m training for the half marathon I knew I just had to push myself. The whole time during the run I was wishing SO BAD that I was just going for a walk, or just sitting on a bench, relaxing, enjoying the sun. I kept cramping up and I had to stop and walk a few times. Colin was doing way better than I was and he hasn’t been training for a race. It was beyond frustrating. I literally had to say Hail Marys throughout the run in order to get my mind off the fact that I was running (also to have God and his team up their on my side in case I croaked.) When we finished our run I had a bit of a breakdown. I just felt so disappointed with myself; I felt defeated. Luckily Colin gave me a really encouraging pep talk to help snap me out of it. In the end, I knew I had to get my run in for the day even though I didn’t want to, and I did. I finished. I didn’t just convince myself that it was OK to walk the rest of the way, I didn’t give up. That’s what’s gonna help me cross that finish line in April.

After our run we headed back to Newton (where Colin lives) he went to play basketball and I went in search of new shoes for our night out in Boston. I tried on some really cool heels at Target that I loved but felt way too tall in. This girl standing by me complimented how great they looked. She was extremely nice and eventually encouraged me to get them! I am really happy I did, so I owe her a thank you. Maybe she’s reading my famous blog right now…

Here are the shoes –

I’m roughly 6’5 in them, no big deal…

Saturday night a bunch of us went out for Danielle’s birthday. First we started the night off at Nuge and Christine’s (aka X) apartment; we had some drinks and a lovely dinner (including a cake, candles and a beautiful rendition of ‘happy birthday.’) Then we headed to Buskers which is over by The Garden. It was a really good time! The DJ played a lot of good music and we danced the whole time we were there. Total success.

My camera phone is a bit blurry. Xis lookin good though!

The lovely Rippa hailing a cab! (none of my friends have 'real' names by the way)

The beautiful birthday girl!

I heard about 3 new websites over the weekend and they’re awesome! Figured I would share… – Lists all sorts of activities to do in your area, ranging from free events, sporting events, restaurant deals, etc. – Similar deal with a more hip look to their website. People can post stuff they hear about and they also have a ‘recession busters’ section which lists cheap/free events. – ‘Your guide to the outdoors,’ You type in your area and they’ll give you places to explore on a nice day. Hopefully the good weather will continue. Fingers crossed… – The who-what-where-when of concerts.

Tomorrow the Soul Fire BBQ in Allston has an all you can eat wings special on Mondays from 5pm-10pm for $8.99. Get your wings however you like ’em – buffalo, hickory smoked, spicy honey, Southern fried, apple bacon (featured flavor of the week.) – 182 Harvard Ave, Allston, (617) 787-3003.

Today we took Lady to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Lawrence for a little bit, then relaxed the rest of the day. Went to church at 5:30 where I got to see two girls who volunteered the same year I did. It was a very nice surprise! We then went to Whole Foods, I got my groceries for the week (more strawberries and grapes which I already taste tested, and they are delicious.) Then Colin made some amazing burgers paired with equally amazing sweet potato fries with a maple glaze. Ooooweeee it was a good dinner!

It’s been a busy weekend and I’m looking at a busy week ahead so it’s time to get some sleep. Goodnight readers, hope you had a great weekend :)

PS- We’ve been watching the new show Life on the Discovery Channel and I’m definitely gonna have nightmares of Komodo Dragons tonight.

He's coming to get you!