Like T Bone Burnett and Ethan Johns before him, Dave Cobb has become one of the go-to producers in modern-day roots music, his catalog filled with records by country-pop chart-toppers, Americana poster boys, blue-eyed soul singers and folk duos.
Southern Family tips its hat to the full range of that resume. Released next week and currently streaming on, the concept album rounds up one of the most diverse spreads of songwriters this side of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, pairing pop heavyweights like Miranda Lambert and Zac Brown with Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, former Civil Wars singer John Paul White, Black Crowes co-founder Rich Robinson, Shooter Jennings and others. Cobb's no-frills production glues the tracklist together, along with several themes — nostalgia, family heritage and the persistent pull of the Bible Belt — that weave themselves throughout Southern Family's mix of cover songs and originals.
"Everybody has a great story about their parents, their grandparents, brother, sister," Cobbof the new album, which joins Anderson East's Delilah as one of the first projects to be released via his own record label imprint, Low Country Sound. "Everybody has an intimate story and it was something that everybody could relate to. I wanted to have really talented artists custom write and do songs that mean a lot to them, and also just make the song that maybe they wouldn't put on their record: the deep song, or the song that doesn't fit in the queue or wouldn't be a single. I wanted them to do the most honest song they could possibly do."