Brent Cobb was sitting at a four-way stop on a rural road when the crash happened. Someone unfamiliar with the area barreled through the stop sign in their car and t-boned Cobb’s truck. His son was still in a rear-facing car seat and didn’t make a sound when the crash happened. The impact broke Cobb’s collarbone, but he maneuvered out of his truck and over to his 1-year-old son’s side of the cab. He managed to get the door open, and when he did, his son just looked at him in confusion.
With the assurance his baby was ok, Cobb laid down on his back in the road and waited for help.
The experience prompted Cobb to make his new Southern gospel album “And Now, Let’s Turn to Page…” released last week. Produced by his cousin and super-producer Dave Cobb, the album is a collection of songs that Brent Cobb sang in church growing up. The tracklist includes standards “In the Garden,” “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” and “Old Rugged Cross,” which is of particular importance to Cobb’s family. But the album is also home to “When It’s My Time,” inspired by the singer’s near-death experience in the car accident.
“I had no other choice than to lay down in the road,” Cobb said, explaining he used his phone to call his mom for help. They were on the way to her house and were only about one mile away. “I could tell that my collarbone was broken, and I didn’t know if my back may be broken or not, but I had only torn up ligament in my lower back. I was starting to feel the effects from that.”
When Cobb recovered from his injuries, he reached out to Dave – lauded for producing Chris Stapleton – and asked him to produce his Southern gospel album. On Nov. 13, 2020, Cobb texted his cousin and said: “So when do we make the Southern gospel album?” Dave replied: “I am 100 percent in. It would make our family so proud.”
The men went into the recording studio in December of 2020 and finished in February of 2021. Cobb refers to the songs they chose as “Southern gospel’s greatest hits.” His grandfather led the singing in the small country church where Cobb grew up, and the songs on “And Now, Let’s Turn to Page…” reflect the hymns they sang the most. He checked in with his dad and sister to ensure he didn’t forget anything. “Old Rugged Cross” was a requirement. It’s Cobb’s favorite gospel song, but it’s also his grandfather’s.
In the days before Cobb’s grandfather was set to marry his grandmother, he fell asleep and dreamed he went to a funeral and saw himself in the casket. When he told his mother about it, she said that meant someone close to him would die soon. His grandfather’s mother died the week of his wedding. The night she died, all of her children woke up around the same time singing “Old Rugged Cross.”
“They didn’t know their mother had passed,” Cobb explained. “They weren’t living in the same household, but the next day they were telling each other about it.”
He said “When It’s My Time,” “sort of fell out of the sky” the day after Thanksgiving. He and his wife sit on the porch at night to decompress after their children are asleep and wrote the song that night.
“We wrote it really quickly,” he said.
Whether people are fans of gospel music or not, Cobb hopes they give “And Now, Let’s Turn to Page…” a chance.
“This album musically and even the structure of the songs aren’t that different from what I already do anyway,” he said. “These songs have influenced everything I do, and they’ve uplifted me my whole life.”