Brent Cobb – Providence Canyon Album Review: Cobb returns with a record that packs a punch and will leave a mark!

As a successful country music songwriter, Brent Cobb has had cuts from Luke Bryan, Little Big Town and many more. His debut album, Shine On Rainy Day, showcased the dreamy and poetic nature of his songwriting style, a million miles from the style of some of those who’d recorded his songs. Having toured extensively with Chris Stapleton and made a big mark on the UK, Brent is now back with his second album, Providence Canyon. The pre-released songs promised a record that was packing a bit more of a punch, here’s what we found.

The album kicks off with the title track Providence Canyon. The song has all of the classic, rootsy country sound that we come to expect from Brent Cobb. His husky and laid-back vocal glides over a catchy chorus. One of the stand-out parts of this track is the beautiful pedal steel which weaves its way through the song. The song is about heading out to a peaceful place, Providence Canyon, and letting go of life’s worries.

Next up is one of the early singles from the album, King of Alabama. With its funky guitar parts and dancing bass-line, it’s got somewhat a retro 70’s feel. Everything about this song is nostalgic, from the production through to the vocals and backing singers. It’s got an Eagles-esque vibe. Definitely great music for chilling out on a summers day.

Track three is the more upbeat Mornin’s Gonna Come. That 60’s and 70’s feel remains throughout this song, with some seriously funky guitar parts taking centre stage. It’s a slightly more rocking song than we’re used to from Brent but it definitely works. It feels like he’s changed his sound slightly to fit the arena-sized shows that he’s played with the likes of Chris Stapleton.

Come Home Soon is up next and Brent namechecks his home state of Georgia as he sings about being out on the road. “It’s been so long since I’ve felt at home, I’ve forgotten what it feels like to belong anywhere” sums up the feelings of the road-weary musician. Many artists do the ‘road song’ but Brent has really nailed it with this chilled out number. The musicianship and production on offer keeps that throwback vibe and juxtaposes the suffering and struggle in the lyrics brilliantly.

Track five is Sucker For A Good Time, a song that kicks off with some mean sounding slide guitar. It’s another ‘big’ sounding song that fits that Stapleton-esque mold. Brent is in full storytelling mode in this song and shows off his talent for catchy lyrics with lines like “It’s a mean scene man, you ain’t seen nothing like it and I ain’t the kind to stretch out the truth”. The musical interlude has a real Zeppelin feel to it but leaves me craving a wild slide guitar solo! I’d imagine this one will be a rocker live.

High In The Country slows things down a little bit and takes us back to the chilled out songwriter vibe. This is the type of song that may have been a little more understated on Cobb’s debut album but on Providence Canyon is backed up by a rich backing band. It’s a soaring song that takes you back to that Eagles type sound.

Things get rocking again with If I Don’t See Ya. This bluesy number reminds me of 60’s Eric Clapton with it’s jangling Strat over a 12 bar. It’s another song that you’d imaging will be fantastic live with the full band, giving plenty of room for the guitar and keys to play around. There’s a brilliant guitar solo on this and I really defy you to not tap your foot whilst listening. It’s absolutely superb stuff and really does showcase Cobb’s development as an artist. What a band Brent Cobb has with him in the studio!

.30-06 is up next and almost seamlessly continues from where If I Don’t See Ya left off. The addition of backing singers really comes to prominence on this song and gives the chorus a big, strong richness. Again, the quality of musicianship is on show with some amazing performances just adding to Brent’s brilliant vocal. It’s another song that has a retro feel whilst sounding entirely fresh and relevant.

Next up is the slightly more folksy Lorene. It’s a slight nod to the meandering, storytelling style of Shine On Rainy Day. With an album that has so many more big and bold songs on it, it’s a nice switch-up to hear Brent keep in some of that more low-key sound.

The penultimate track on the album is When The Dust Settles. “Get your tombstone ready and your suit tie steady, cos you might as well be dying” shows off Brent’s ability to weave poetic and powerful lyrics. It’s a great country song that barrels along at a nice tempo and has a superb slide guitar solo. Lyrically, he talks a lot about jacked up trucks getting in the way on an old dirt road, perhaps a nod to modern country taking over.

The album is closed out with Ain’t A Road Too Long, an almost autobiographical song about people asking him why he does the job that he does when it could leave him lonely and cold at the end. Brent explores the idea of following your dreams and putting in the hard work to make it happen. Brent’s vocals on this song are outstanding and the musicianship, as ever is absolutely on point. Fantastic way to end the record.

Track Listing

  1. Providence Canyon
  2. King of Alabama
  3. Mornin’s Gonna Come
  4. Come Home Soon
  5. Sucker For A Good Time
  6. High In The Country
  7. If I Don’t See Ya
  8. .30-06
  9. Lorene
  10. When The Dust Settles
  11. Ain’t A Road Too Long

Overall

With Providence Canyon, Brent Cobb has returned with a bang. As much as Shine On Rainy Day was a wonderful exhibit of the fine songwriting ability of Cobb, he’s taken that to the next level with an altogether gutsier record. The quality of songwriting is still very much present but is matched by much ‘bigger’ sounding songs and some amazing musicianship. There is definitely a retro vibe to this album and it wouldn’t shock many people if you said the record came straight from the 60’s, yet it carves its own funk-country niche that feels fresh and original as anything else. There’s clearly a big influence from Brent’s cousin and super-producer, Dave Cobb, who was behind the record. If Brent Cobb carries on this way, I see no reason why he can’t be thought of alongside the likes of Stapleton and Isbell. This album was made for arenas.

Recommended Tracks

Come Home Soon, Sucker For A Good Time, If I Don’t See Ya

Six Shooter Rating

9 out of 10

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