By Helen Jerome
Heavenly, uplifting and uniquely Cobb
Brent Cobb says he’s been waiting to make this incredibly personal and heartfelt record his whole life. He’d always intended on making a southern gospel album because these are his roots, and it also fits into his plan of making albums as guiding “life lessons” for his children. Neatly, he uses friends and family throughout, tapping up his cousin Dave Cobb to produce. The result is heavenly, uplifting and uniquely Cobb.
If you’re going to do gospel, you might as well really go for it, and Cobb kicks off this record with an intimate version of the classic ‘Just A Closer Walk With Thee’. There’s just so much love and warmth in this, from the backing acoustic guitar, organ and sensitive drumming, to his light, gravelly voice lifting something reverent into something very personal, as he sings: “Let it be, dear lord, let it be.”
Before continuing with further covers, he gives a personal twist to the album with its one original composition ‘When It’s My Time’, written with his wife and Mike Harmeier and forged into a halting track facing mortality.
One of the major highlights among the covers is ‘Softly and Tenderly’, Cobb’s duet with rising star Caylee Hammack, who comes from his hometown. Together they take on the tune and knock it out the park.
With its big rock and roll drumming and funky guitar riffs, ‘Blood’ makes for an unusual and unexpected framing of the gospel song, contrasting with the sweet southern soul on ‘In The Garden’ and the quiet, almost a cappella ‘Old Rugged Cross’ with gentle brush of acoustic guitar and lap steel beneath a divine chorus of voices.
Just when you think you’ve got Cobb’s gospel pinned down, he hits another high with ‘We Shall Rise’, featuring honky tonk piano reminiscent of Elton John’s ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’ and Allman Brothers-style guitar licks. To wind up the whole album, ‘Blessed Be The Tie That Binds’ feels more festive, delivered totally a cappella with all his family joining him on vocals.
Brent Cobb reckons he’s singing the best he’s ever sung on this album, because “it’s not for me, it’s for something else”. Listening to the record, it’s hard to argue with him.
And Now, Turn To Page... is out now via Ol' Buddy Records. You can purchase the record from Holler's selected partners below:
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