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"


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


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

The Lumineers play a Tiny Desk Concert. Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Bob Boilen/NPR

The Lumineers

Ho hey! Look who turned up at the Tiny Desk. Watch The Lumineers play a four-song set for the smallest crowd in ages.

Jesca Hoops plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Kisha Ravi/NPR). Kisha Ravi/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Kisha Ravi/NPR

Jesca Hoop

You'll want to watch this deeply reflective and personal Tiny Desk concert.

Allen Stone plays a Tiny Desk concert (Max Posner/NPR). Max Posner/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Max Posner/NPR

Allen Stone

The soul singer demonstrated a commitment to the Tiny Desk that we rarely, if ever, see.

Tarriona "Tank" Ball plays a Tiny Desk (Home) Concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Tarriona 'Tank' Ball (Home) Concert

"Don't go out to the cookout." The leader of Tank and the Bangas spreads pure joy from her living room in New Orleans.

The Black Crowes play a Tiny Desk concert. bob boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption bob boilen/NPR

The Black Crowes

Chris and Rich Robinson revisit songs from their debut album, Shake Your Money Maker.

Back To Top