Dave Cobb Didn’t Have to Work Too Hard to Connect With Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton
Thanks to his work on recent hit records from the likes of Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton, producer Dave Cobb has made a name for himself in country music -- and not all by chance. Cobb says that he was very intentional about working with both artists.
"Both of those two artists, I sought out," the producer tells Taste of Country. "I heard Jason Isbell about seven years ago -- uh, [with the] Drive-By Truckers. I heard a song called "Outfit," and I heard that song and the lyrics, and it shook me up, so I wanted to chase him down and track him down, and luckily, we got connected to make a record.
"Chris Stapleton -- another band played me Chris Stapleton about seven or eight years ago, so it took a long time to meet these people I really wanted to work with, but I never really lost focus on it," Cobb continues. "And, fortunately, they both reached out and were able to, you know, go and cut up together and make these records."
Isbell's Something More Than Free and Stapleton's Traveller, both released in 2015, have both earned huge success: At the 2016 Grammy Awards, Isbell earned Best Americana Album and Best American Roots Song, while Stapleton took home Best Country Album and Best Country Solo Performance. Those successes may have something to do with the relationships that Cobb builds with the artists he works with, but the producer says that getting along with singers isn't something that he feels he needs to work particularly hard at.
"I don't know, I think you either have it or you don't with these people. I mean, it's about people. It's about working with people who you look up to and people you identify with, so it really wasn't work to get to know these guys," he notes. "It felt like both of them, when I first met them, I'd known them forever. [It was] very natural, very easy, you know."
Cobb is releasing a concept album, Southern Family, on March 18. The project features Isbell and Stapleton, as well as Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown, John Paul White, Jamey Johnson, Anderson East, Holly Williams, Brent Cobb, Brandy Clark, Shooter Jennings and Rich Robinson. The album is available for pre-order via iTunes and Amazon.