Named after a Georgian gully that Dave Cobb often visited as a teenager, the singer/songwriter's sophomore release Providence Canyon is an evocative, electrified album about a life lived on the run. There are road songs, half-lit drinking tunes, tributes to friends and family, and nostalgic nods to one's younger years. There are songs about returning home and songs about getting the hell out of dodge. Gluing everything together is the unforced country croon and sharp songwriting of Cobb, who credits his recent touring history for inspiring the album's quicker pace.
If Grammy-nominated debut Shine On Rainy Day felt like a laidback country album for front-porch picking sessions, then Providence Canyon is built for something bigger. This is music for juke joints, pool halls, and roadhouses, filled with electric guitar (performed by Cobb's touring bandmate, Mike Harris), B3 organ, percussive groove, and co-ed harmonies. And while the album's recording sessions were spread out across an entire year, each song was captured in a small number of takes, with Brent and producer Dave Cobb relying on instinct and spur-of-the-moment ideas. The two cousins may have grown up on opposite sides of Georgia, but they share similar backgrounds and musical instincts – two qualities that lend an earthy authenticity to these 11 songs of the south.
Songs like "Loreen" and "Come Home Soon" were partially inspired by Cobb's daughter, while "King of Alabama" was written in honor of a close family friend, songwriter Wayne Mills, who passed away in 2013. On the drawling, guitar-driven "Mornin's Gonna Come" and "Sucker for a Good Time," Cobb battles against the temptations of the road, where the drinks are free and the nights are long. He doubles down on his commitment to his wife and daughter with "Ain't a Road Too Long," whose mix of Bible Belt boogie-woogie and Southern rock channels influences like the Band. Then, on the album's breezy title track, he casts his mind back to his teenage years, when a trip to Providence Canyon was enough to remind him of life's fleeting, precious nature.