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Year in Review: So, How Was Your 2020, Brent Cobb?

Singer-songwriter on the music, books, and television that helped him get through a very weird year

Alysse Gafkjen*

So, How Was Your 2020? is a series in which our favorite entertainers answer our questionnaire about the music, culture and memorable moments that shaped their year. We’ll be rolling these pieces out throughout December.

Brent Cobb spent the year making what he calls “country music for grown folks,” which is to say, country songs that are more about full hearts and open minds than empty beer cans and truck beds. In October, he released the album Keep ‘Em on They Toes, recorded with producer Brad Cook in Durham, North Carolina, which sums up his more mature approach to Nashville songwriting. There are lyrics about growing older, raising kids, and taking mind-expanding mushroom trips.

He even upped the game of one of the mainstream’s biggest stars: recruiting his fellow Georgian Luke Bryan to co-write and play piano on the Ronnie Milsap-like track “Good Times and Good Love.” Love was top of mind for Cobb all throughout this tumultuous 2020. Here, he explains why.

The album I listened to the most in 2020 was:
Country Memories, Jerry Lee Lewis.

My favorite TV show to stream during quarantine was:
We have kids so I don’t really have a favorite, but we’ve streamed a lot of Big City Greens.

The song that will define “2020” for me is:
“A World So Full of Love” by Roger Miller.

I’d define my current state of mind as:
Content with what I have to work with.

The viral video I kept coming back to in quarantine was:
Bishop Bullwinkle’s “Hell 2 Da Naw”.

The old-favorite album I returned to for comfort this year was:
Billy Joe Shaver’s self-titled album.

The old-favorite movie I returned to for comfort this year was:  
Cool Hand Luke.

A new hobby I picked up in quarantine was:
I stick with what I know so I just kept writing songs but my wife learned to juggle.

The celebrity I’d most want to quarantine with is:
Matthew McConaughey.

The best book I read in quarantine was:
The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes by Willie Nelson.

Something positive that happened to me that nobody noticed was:
Because of quarantine I’ve been able to be with my kids every day and watch my son grow from baby to toddler.

The mistake I learned the most from this year was:
Don’t get my hopes too high.

The biggest hero of 2020 was:
Dolly Parton.

A word or phrase I never want to hear again is:
Show canceled.

The thing I’m most looking forward to doing when the pandemic is over is:
Having some drinks with all my favorite people on a patio outside of a crowded bar full of joyful people.

My biggest hope for 2021 is:
We continue to all learn to grow and love deeper.

From Rolling Stone US