I’ve read articles in the Tennessean, Lone Star Magazine, and The Boot about Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb. I haven’t read an Alabama article about him yet, so I thought I’d write one. This is bound to be a little different.
Those of us who are country music fans have noticed the change in the industry the past several years. Many of us have longed for the “good old days” of country music. But now, under the leadership of Dave Cobb, we’ve seen the paving of a new road with the music we have longed for; real, southern, soulful, and unashamed.
“I feel like there are two lanes now: You have the really pop-country stuff, which does great and sells records, and then you have this natural, organic, real side that’s also selling records. It’s a fun time to be here.” Cobb says.
Cobb’s new album “Southern Family” is seriously one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time. It’s a collaborative project full of the songs that tell a story about the artists’ Southern Roots, so in turn it feels a lot like the listener’s roots, especially when those roots also happen to be southern… like mine.
And if turning the country music industry on its head isn’t enough for you, Dave Cobb is also the new producer-in-chief over Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A, where legends like Dolly Pardon and Waylon Jennings have recorded and so many more.
I recently went to Nashville and while I was there toured RCA Studio B. The building is history, full of stories and stands as a story all on its own. I don’t want to see the history be forgotten or the building disappear and for one, I am grateful to the preservationists involved in keeping the legacy alive and preserving the history of that Foundation I blogged about months ago.
Read what Chris Stapleton had to say about Studio A:
“Certainly the room has a sound, and if you don’t want that sound, you don’t need to be in that room,” Stapleton says. ” … We recorded with all of us in one room, because it’s large enough to do that, and we’re using the sound of the room … It’s all kind of a blur for me. I could tell you moments that happened within the course of doing it, but we were just having fun, which I think was the way the music should be played.”
The singer-songwriter adds, “If you go in RCA A, you’ll realize that it’s not just a Nashville thing. It’s a studio that belongs to music. Songs like “I Will Always Love You” were recorded in there. It’s one of those studios that’s a piece of music history, not just Nashville history … It’s in Nashville, but it’s not just something that belongs to Nashville.”
I agree with Stapleton. Even though, of course, I’ve never been inside Studio A, I have toured Studio B and considered it to be a part of music history, like FAME or Muscle Shoals Sound, and that should make it important to music lovers everywhere.
I’m all about being proud of my heritage in Alabama, including the music heritage, and I even wore Scott Boyer’s “Muscle Shoals Artists Unlimited” tee-shirt to tour RCA Studio B. And, it wasn’t about competing; it was about representing. It’s about being proud of who you are, where you are from, what you have been through, as much as where you are going.
When combined, just like in Dave Cobb’s “Southern Family” album, we share a collective history that is beautiful. Hats off to Dave Cobb and all the others involved who have the mind-set of preservation, inclusion, and restoration of our collective southern musical heritage.
FYI: Muscle Shoals Sound is undergoing restorations and will be offering tours soon according to Muscle Shoals Music Foundation. And, just so you know, I plan on touring it ASAP and buying the t-shirt while there.
Jamie from Alabama