"Nothing good ever happens after midnight – so the story goes," Brent Cobb sings on his new song "King of Alabama." It's a line delivered with nonchalance, but imbued with irony and tragedy in the Georgia native's loving ode to Wayne Mills, the first song to be released from Cobb's new LP, Providence Canyon, due May 11th.
Mills, a country-music road dog who played shows with current headliners like Blake Shelton, was murdered during an early morning argument at a Nashville bar in November 2013. "King of Alabama" only obliquely alludes to the circumstances of his death, instead painting an impressionistic picture of what made Mills worthy of royalty. "He was a man among men, the old-school kind. Had a great big heart, a laid-back mind," Cobb sings, describing Mills as someone who would lend you his guitar if yours broke a string.
The song's animated music video, directed by Tom Jarrett, adds an appropriately surreal touch to Cobb's tale of unruffled heroism and blue-collar nobility. Following on the heels of Cobb's "Ain't a Road Too Long" – itself an ode to working-class musicians – the implication is that, for honky-tonking troubadours like Cobb and Mills, all the magic happens after midnight.
Providence Canyon is the follow-up to Cobb's major-label debut, 2016's Shine on Rainy Day, and see him working once more with his Grammy-winning cousin, producer Dave Cobb. The pair recorded the album at Nashville's RCA Studio A and will release it via Dave Cobb's Low Country Sound imprint.