By Joshua Wallace
Photography By Joshua Wallace
I had the chance to catch Brent Cobb’s A Night Of Fine Acoustic Country Music Tour this past Wednesday night February 26th, 2020 in Atlanta, GA at Terminal West. Brent Cobb actually had two shows this evening due to the initial show selling out quickly. These were duo shows featuring Brent on acoustic guitar and his regular guitar player Mike Harris on electric. It was set up like the two were on their own front porch picking songs and hanging out with a few hundred friends. The opening act for this tour is Maddie Medley. I didn’t have much experience with her music before the show. She only has one song out on Spotify with the promise of more to come soon. She played the same set both shows so I will cover her music once.
Maddie Medley was a solo act for these shows with an electric guitar. Her voice is deep and rich and her songs are very personal. A stand out was “Edith” which she says is about if she has a daughter. She sings about the things she would teach her future daughter about and how she would raise her in this world. The song she ended with was “Coming Of Age” which is the song you can hear on Spotify. It’s a bit more upbeat than the rest of her set, but still a very personal song that looks inward. I hope to be able to hear more of her music in the near future.
Brent Cobb’s set began shortly after Maddie Medley’s set and you could tell it was going to be a fun evening from the start. It was a very loose affair and the first show of the evening even had no set list. He kicked things off with a brand new song called “Keep ‘Em On Their Toes” which you can hear a snippet of in a video from the recording sessions of his next album on Twitter. From there he got into a couple of songs from his last new album with “Mornin’s Gonna Come” and “Sucker For A Good Time”. Mike Harris was a great accompaniment for this set as he made the smooth songs still slow and smooth and the rocking songs still rocked out. I particularly enjoyed hearing “Solving Problems” in this setting and the story that went along with it. Brent did another new song called “Shut Up And Sing” which I got a video of. It’s got a great message to it and I hope lots of folks hear it. After a rousing rendition of “Digging Holes”, Brent got a request from the crowd for “Old Shit” which is a song he wrote that Miranda Lambert recorded. It was great hearing his version of this song and it’s refreshing to see an artist take requests in a setting like this as long as the audience is respectful about it.
I particularly enjoyed this version of “Providence Canyon” stripped back. It was very smooth and laid back. We got another new song in “Soapbox” in the first set. Brent does have a new album coming out in the fall and after hearing these new songs live, I’m particularly looking forward to having them on a record. We got a version of “Black Crow” from the No Place Left To Leave album and it’s cool hearing those older songs live some 14 years after they were initially released. From there, we got a cool instrumental segway into “Let The Rain Come Down” which was eventually recorded by The Steel Woods. I’m torn on which version I prefer, but Cobb’s acoustic version is great here. A highlight of the early show was Brent Cobb doing a rendition of Tenacious D’s “Tribute” into “Down In The Gulley” when it got to the part in “Tribute” where you have to play the best song in the world. It was a great off the cuff moment that is what fans come to these stripped back acoustic shows for.
When it came time for the second show, those who were staying for both had to go back outside and come back in with the new crowd of people who were not here for the first. Maddie Medley performed essentially the same set as she did the first time around so I won’t rehash that. Brent Cobb however performed a different set with a few duplicate songs but an almost entirely different order.
Brent started things off with another new song which I think was called “Ain’t That Enough” before going into one of my favorites from the Shine On Rainy Day album called “Traveling Poor Boy”. There was also a rendition of “Come Home Soon” from Providence Canyon in the second set that was nice to hear here. There was another new song in this set called “The World Is Ending”. This was my personal highlight of the night. Sometimes you hear a brand new song live and it just floors you. I’ve had that experience a few times with different artists and I cannot wait to hear this one on the album and for everyone else to hear it. From there, an audience member surprised Brent with a song he said no one requests from the Providence Canyon album called “Lorene”. I was happy to hear this one live as it’s been a recent favorite of mine and it should be a regular part of the set list, especially on a stripped down acoustic set like this.
I can’t say enough about Brent having Mike Harris on guitar for these shows. He adds another element to the sound that makes these more than just your regular acoustic sets. This is especially apparent in heavier songs like “High In The Country” and “.30-06”. Mike Harris got to rock out on these numbers with extended solos and killer riffs that kept these songs rocking but still stripped down from what you would normally get in a full band setting. The night ended with Brent Cobb starting up “Richland” from No Place Left To Leave before changing up to the slower, appropriate closer of “South Of Atlanta”. I was happy to finally get to hear this one as it’s one of my favorite Brent Cobb songs from any of his records.
I highly recommend going to this tour if it comes near you. Brent Cobb is a great performer and entertainer in this unique setting. The tour is set up like two guys picking on their front porch in front of a few hundred friends and it comes off like that. You get to know Brent between the songs and get to know a little about the songs that you might not hear otherwise. If for some reason you can’t make it out to this tour, there is apparently a new record coming in the Fall for folks like me who can’t get enough Brent Cobb. I’m already looking forward to the next time I get to see Brent Cobb live because it’s a good show whether it’s stripped back or full band. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom and get the dates for the rest of this tour. You can also check Brent’s website for the most up to date tour information.