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story.lead_photo.caption Singer-songwriter Brent Cobb will open for Chris Stapleton Friday at Verizon Arena. Special to the Democrat-Gazette/John Shearer

Country star Chris Stapleton brings his All American Road Show to North Little Rock's Verizon Arena on Friday and has a familiar face along for the gig.

Singer-songwriter Brent Cobb was on the bill along with Marty Stuart when Stapleton performed at the arena Nov. 16, 2017.

Chris Stapleton’s All American Road Show Tour

Opening acts: Brent Cobb, The Marcus King Band

7 p.m. Friday, Verizon Arena, 1 Verizon Arena Way, North Little Rock

Admission: $39.75, $69.75, $89.75

(501) 975-9000

"I don't know what we're doing right," the 33-year-old said on the day before he was to join the tour. "This will be the third year in a row that they have had us out. They are a wonderful crew. It's kind of like going to summer camp."

It has been a heady few years for the Georgia native. After years of writing for hitmakers including Luke Bryan ("Tailgate Blues"), Kenny Chesney ("Don't It") and others, his 2016 debut album, Shine on Rainy Day, earned a Grammy nomination for best Americana album (Jason Isbell's 400 Unit won for The Nashville Sound).

His latest, 2018's Providence Canyon, is an extension of Cobb's combination of easygoing, front-porch country and flashes of funky Southern rock sung in his syrupy, soulful drawl. It's also a bit of a love note to his rural Georgia upbringing and, as with his debut, was produced by his cousin, Dave Cobb, who has produced the likes of Isbell, Sturgill Simpson and Brandi Carlile, to name just a few.

From a songwriting perspective, was following the success of Shine on Rainy Day stressful for Cobb?

"I didn't want to overthink it," he said. "I've been writing all my life and writing professionally for 10-12 years. I had a lot of songs in the hole ... so as far as songs were concerned, there was no pressure. You do get a little bit of pressure when [a previous project] is received so well, but I try not to let it get to me."

Cobb has released a video trilogy directed by Chris Phelps that pays homage to the part of rural southern Georgia where he was raised, not far from the canyon with which his latest record shares its name.

"I grew up in southwest Georgia, about three hours south of Atlanta," he said. "There's not a whole lot of action around there. But the community is strong, and family is really important. For me, it was like a big playground."

The first video features a stripped-down, acoustic version of "Come Home Soon," which appears on Providence Canyon and features his young daughter, Lyla. The video is an ode to country life, complete with a trip to a fishing hole, a cookout with family and a sweet lullaby with Lyla.

The second video with its dirt roads, kudzu and country stores is another tribute to life outside the city and is set to "Country Bound" from Shine on Rainy Day.

The final installment was filmed at Providence Canyon, which is part of a Georgia state park and, appropriately enough, spotlights "Providence Canyon" with an a cappella snippet of "Diggin' Holes," his outlaw country hit from Shine on Rainy Day, thrown in for good measure.

"I wanted to capture what I'm writing about, the true spirit of rural America through my own lens," he said. "Everywhere you go in this country, everybody is pretty similar. I don't know if people realize that sometimes."

Weekend on 08/22/2019

Print Headline: Lauded writer on the road again with Stapleton


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