Brent Cobb: Tiny Desk Concert Cobb's words shimmer like a tall glass of sweet tea in the late-morning sun. Watch the country singer-songwriter perform four songs from his debut album.

Tiny Desk

Brent Cobb

In some parts of the South, there's an accent where every conversation sounds like a song. Brent Cobb, a native of the small town of Ellaville, Ga., doesn't quite whistle through his teeth when he speaks, but he does push more air into his S's when he sings. When he sings "Solving Problems," a song about a Sunday-afternoon bull session, at the NPR Music offices, the words shimmer like a tall glass of sweet tea in the late-morning sun when he strings together a particularly consonant phrase: "Conversation covers everything and in between, from Grandpa's health to marrying good girls."

"Solving Problems" comes from Shine On Rainy Day, his major-label debut produced by distant cousin Dave Cobb; it's nearly a decade in the making. Brent Cobb spent those years on Nashville's Music Row, writing songs for the likes of Luke Bryan, Little Big Town and Miranda Lambert. But where most songwriters write for the performer, Cobb plainly says, "If I write a song, they're always for me. If someone wants to record it, I think they should record it."

Cobb is a conversational lyricist who dispenses normal but precisely crafted phrases amid simple-yet-rich melodies. He skips from Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried" to family to making "plans to do what we ain't done yet." He takes a funny story about his uncle and bends the truth a bit for the quiet holler "Down In The Gulley." His songwriting lineage shines through in "Country Bound," written by his daddy; here, it features a bouncing solo from J Kott, whom Cobb jokingly calls "our bass player/lead guitarist."

Encouraged by the crowd to play one more song, Cobb closes with the sobering "Shine On Rainy Day." While he weaves plenty of wit into his lyrics, Cobb can devastate just as easily: "Ain't it funny how a little thunder make a man start to wonder, 'Should I swim or just go under?'" Just as we struggle to find the silver lining in Cobb's clouds, the song ends and he asks with a smile, "What do we do now?"

Shine On Rainy Day is available now. (iTunes) (Amazon)

Set List

  • "Solving Problems"

  • "Down In The Gulley"

  • "Country Bound"

  • "Shine On Rainy Day"

Musicians

Brent Cobb (vocals, guitar); J Kott (vocals, bass); Steve Smith (drums).

Credits

Producers: Lars Gotrich, Niki Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Nicole Boliaux; Production Assistant: Anna Marketti; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR.

For more Tiny Desk concerts, subscribe to our podcast.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Yola Carter performs during tiny desk on December, 12, 2019. (Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Yola

The singer who once sang for Massive Attack and sampled by Iggy Azalea and The Chemical Brothers, is front-and-center at the Tiny Desk.

Joyce DiDonato performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Nov. 11, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Joyce DiDonato

Watch the celebrated opera star deconstruct old Italian love songs with her signature flair, backed by a crack jazz ensemble.

Jordan Rakei performs during Tiny Desk on Nov. 15 2019. (Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Jordan Rakei

Despite some unexpected gear problems, the soulful R&B artist and his band locked-in and played a phenomenal set behind the Tiny Desk.

Brownout performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Oct. 18, 2018. Cameron Pollack/NPR/Cameron Pollack/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cameron Pollack/NPR/Cameron Pollack/NPR

Brownout

The Austin, Texas band brought old-school R&B horns, bongos and deep grooves to the Tiny Desk.

Bridget Kibbey performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Oct. 24, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Bridget Kibbey

The irrepressible harpist proves that the instrument can be as tempestuous as a tango, as complex as a Bach fugue and sing as serenely as a church choir.

Jon Batiste performs during Tiny Desk on November, 8 2019. (Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Jon Batiste

Jon Batiste's Tiny Desk Concert was published prematurely. The new publication date is March 2020.

Daniel Norgren performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Sep. 25, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Daniel Norgren

The Swedish singer sways and writhes as he and his band create a dream state calming enough to slow the day's hectic pace to a crawl. Take a seat on a comfy couch and have a listen.

Spanglish Fly performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 9, 2019. (Emily Bogle/NPR) Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR

Spanglish Fly

Spanglish Fly is one of the pioneers of the boogaloo revival scene happening on the East Coast. For about sixteen minutes, they turned the NPR Music offices into the hottest Latin dance club in D.C.

Balún plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Balún

It's impossible to not be drawn in by the visual specter of Balún as the band mixes traditional instruments and electronics, set against a rich tapestry of voices.

Moonchild performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Oct. 17, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Moonchild

The LA-based trio makes an intricate blend of jazz, R&B and hip-hop. For their Tiny Desk set, they pulled out all the stops: flutes, flugelhorns, saxophones, keyboards, ukuleles and more.

Back To Top