Brent Cobb didn’t set out to write an album that feels and sounds like the place he grew up. But now that the grooves have been cut in his debut LP, Shine on Rainy Day, there’s no denying the people, the places and the vibe of his southcentral Georgia home infuse almost every song.
‘It just is Georgia,’ Brent says in his musical drawl. ‘It’s just that rural, easy-going way it feels down there on a nice spring evening when the wind’s blowing warm and you smell wisteria, you know?’
It’s quiet down there where he’s from in Ellaville — ‘population 1,609’ — laid back and forgotten in the shadow of Atlanta and Savannah. The people have blue-collar values and believe in treating your neighbor like you want to be treated. They believe in curses and the dark finger of Fate and wield a sharp, dark sense of humor that sustains them through the hardest of times. Distant radio stations, roadside honkytonks made of cinderblock and back-porch picking sessions heavy on the backbeat predominate under Spanish moss-strewn live oaks and loblolly pines.
It was the perfect place to grow up.
‘Lord, when I die, let’s make a deal,’ Brent sings on the album’s swirling thesis statement, ‘South of Atlanta,’ ‘lay me down in that town where time stands still.’
Shine on Rainy Day is an album Brent’s been trying to make for a decade, enlisting his cousin and fellow Georgian, Dave Cobb, the Grammy Award-winning producer whose Elektra Records imprint Low Country Sound is home to the album.
Brent wanted to record an album that felt Southern, though not the kind of Southern you might expect. Neither Southern rock nor mainstream country, the sound sits somewhere on the wide bandwidth that exists between the two. Cousin Dave helped him find the right vibe, full of blue-eyed soul, country funk and the kind of swamp boogie sounds that predominated pop in the 1960s and early 1970s. There’s a reason Georgia was always on Ray Charles’ mind, after all.
Time Sawyer is interested in “real people and real songs” and that’s just what the listener finds in their music – a sense of realness. Time Sawyer blends a grassroots feel with heart-felt lyrics to put on an entertaining show. From introspective ballads to high-energy crowd-pleasers, Time Sawyer’s songs land in that rootsy sweet spot where folk, alt-country, and rock gather for a good time.
The folk rock band’s name reflects the pull between the past and the future. The character Tom Sawyer evokes the rural background and love of home that the band shares. Time is a muse for songwriting; it’s the thread that runs through life, bringing new experiences and giving us a sense of urgency, while still connecting us with our past.
Time Sawyer has performed on the stages of some of the Southeast’s most iconic festivals, including Merlefest, Floydfest, Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, Rhythm n’ Blooms, Carolina in the Fall and IBMA’s Bluegrass First Class. They’ve shared bills with Langhorne Slim, Eric Krasno, John Moreland, Steep Canyon Rangers, The Wood Brothers, Susto, and many more.
The memorable lyrics and strong melodies result in songs that will stay in your head long after the music stops. Time Sawyer continues to develop a loyal and growing fan base. Whether they’re playing in an intimate listening room or a large outdoor festival, their goal is to forge a face-to-face connection with the audience so that they become friends who happen to be fans.