Dave Cobb knows all about the evolution of the Nashville sound. Because he’s at the very crossroads of that evolution. Cobb’s been producing and collaborating with a long, long list of every kind of country artist: Chris Stapleton, John Prine, Shooter Jennings, Jamey Johnson, Sturgill Simpson, Anderson East, Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, Leigh Nash, Colter Wall, and Cobb’s own cousin, Brent Cobb.
So when the sought-after Nashville producer sat down with the legendary Prine and the newcomer Wall, his mind was open to all the different versions of their country truths.
And it was one of the CMT Music Awards nominees, Walker Hayes, who described it best: “You’ve got traditional artists, and everything in between, and then people who are pushing the limits,” Hayes explains of where he sees himself in the how-do-you-know-if-it’s-country conversation. He also admits that the first country song he heard was Tim McGraw’s hit from 1994 “Don’t Take the Girl,” proving that influences don’t always come from your grandparents’ turntable. Hayes’ “You Broke Up with Me” is nominated for the CMT Music Award breakthrough video of the year.
On one end of the spectrum is Prine, who’s been at this country music gig for 47 years. And as he tells Cobb, he’s not hell bent on only looking way back for the good stuff. “There’s some great stuff in country music right now,” Prine says.
And on the brand new side of things is Wall, who shares with Cobb – who produced his self-titled debut released earlier in May — what he loves most about Nashville. “There’s always a gig,” Wall says.
Ram Trucks will kick off CMT Music Awards week on June 4 with Ram Jam: Artists to Watch at The Cowan — located at Nashville’s TopGolf — featuring performances by Hayes, Devin Dawson and LANCO, just a few of the artists who will also be performing on the Ram Trucks side stage at the 2018 CMT Music Awards. Also taking that stage throughout the June 6 broadcast will be Russell Dickerson, Lindsay Ell and Carly Pearce.