A perfect summer concert

I wanted to follow-up on my interview with Brent Cobb – we went to see him play (as well as the adorable Josh Turner) at the South Shore Music Circus a couple of weeks ago. It was a great show (as to be expected)! I only wished Brent played for longer – the crowd was loving him. One day he’ll be headlining!

We started the day off up on the North Shore at the beach and then headed home to get ready for the concert. We picked up food along the way and tailgated for a bit in the parking lot before we heading into the show. Brent played his set and right before he began to play his last song (my favorite no less! – “I’ve Been Known”) I got a little shout out! Not gonna lie…I felt pretty cool because of it. You should have seen Colin and I, we were cheering and whooping it up — it was great! After Josh Turner finished his set, we met up with Brent and two of his friends to hang for a bit. The guy is a cool guy y’all (just pretending to be southern, no big deal) — please check out his music! Also, if you’ve never been to the South Shore Music Circus for a show, you need to go. It’s such a fun place — small, intimate, and the crowd is always an enthusiastic one. The perfect place for a summer show.

Check out Brent Cobb on Facebook, Twitter and iTunes.

And take a peek at our evening:

Josh Turner

Photo borrowed from Brent's friend Jen

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!