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Sunday, October 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Country singer Brent Cobb pays homage to Georgia on ‘Providence Canyon’

“Providence Canyon” brings Brent Cobb to the Knitting Factory on Thursday. (John Shearer)
“Providence Canyon” brings Brent Cobb to the Knitting Factory on Thursday. (John Shearer)

Country singer Brent Cobb doesn’t remember the exact location of the campground he, his band and crew stayed at last year after opening for Chris Stapleton at the Spokane Arena, but he remembers the site, right near a river, was beautiful.

Whenever they could, Cobb said, he and his team would camp while on the road last year, making the most of their days off by throwing horseshoes and grilling.

“You get to stretch your legs out. You don’t have to stay in a parking lot somewhere,” Cobb said. “We try to have as much fun as we can.”

With a day off between his show in Missoula on Tuesday and Thursday’s show at the Knitting Factory, perhaps Cobb can find the campsite for another round of horseshoes and barbecue.

Cobb is back in town in support of his most recent full-length album, “Providence Canyon,” from May 2018.

The album, in a roundabout way, was inspired by his time playing arenas with Stapleton. The bigger crowds compelled Cobb to add more upbeat tunes to his repertoire.

Incorporating more of a country-funk sound into his music had been on his mind for some time, but “Providence Canyon” was the first time Cobb really went for it.

“There’s a couple more funkier, more Southern rock kind of songs (on my first album ‘No Place Left to Leave’) and I don’t think collectively, as a whole album, I had accomplished that until ‘Providence Canyon.’ ” he said.

“And I think being out there with Chris and (Stapleton’s wife) Morgane and their band, it just lended itself to those types of songs more so than any other experience I had had touring up to that point.”

Lyrically though, Cobb said many of the songs on “Providence Canyon” are “songwriter-y songs.” If you took off some of the percussion and the electric guitar, he said, they would sound similar to the tunes on 2016’s “Shine On Rainy Day.”

Cobb, a Georgia native, recorded both “Shine On Rainy Day” and “Providence Canyon” with his cousin, producer Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Ashley Monroe, the Oak Ridge Boys).

Brent said the pair have always had more of a professional relationship than a familial relationship; the two didn’t meet until Dave Cobb – who is 12 years older – started to make a name for himself as a producer.

“We didn’t meet until I was around 17 or 18 and he had already produced my favorite album at the time,” Cobb said. “He’s always been a great producer in my eyes and just so happens to be also my cousin.”

After living in Los Angeles and Nashville, Cobb is back home in Georgia. Having written two albums essentially longing for home (“Providence Canyon” was named after the Georgia state park), Cobb was wondering if he’d still be inspired by the area.

But, as it turns out, he had nothing to worry about.

“I feel like I’m writing some of the best songs I’ve ever written because of being home,” he said. “They’re more about in the environment of home, instead of missing that environment, the surroundings. For some reason, it’s always inspired me my whole life so getting back there is wonderful.”

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