“And Now Let’s Turn to Page…” Brent Cobb (Ol’ Buddy Records)
Brent Cobb’s discography tells a story — and with his first gospel album “And Now Let’s Turn to Page…” the country singer’s narrative takes a turn toward the spiritual. It’s quite a lane-change from, say, the bar room hijinks of 2018’s “Providence Canyon,” but it packs all the heart of 2020’s more mellow “Keep ’Em On They Toes.”
The latest project is a worthy one, with Cobb sounding right at home in the church pew. His twang and unrushed vocals are perfectly placed there, as he takes on eight traditional gospel songs, including “We Shall Rise," Cobb’s funky, honky-tonking rendition of the jubilant ”Hallelujah! We Shall Rise.” His tender vocals bring earnestness to “Just a Closer Walk to Thee” — a gospel standard previously covered by the likes of Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson, among others.
There’s an original track, too, co-written by Cobb, his wife Layne, and Mike Harmeier, called “When It's My Time.” “It ain’t been easy, going this long. Riding the fine line, between right and wrong,” Cobb sings, in a tussle with his own mortality. Reflection is nothing new to Cobb’s music, but a serious car wreck in 2020 marked a shift for the singer, and pushed him to finally record the gospel album he’d been keeping on his to-do list.
Produced by Cobb’s longtime collaborator and Grammy Award-winning cousin Dave Cobb, “And Now Let’s Turn to Page…” excels in bringing refreshed energy to the familiar. It’s easy to imagine Cobb standing for his church solo beside an old organ on the quaint “In the Garden,” and “Old Rugged Cross,” with its acoustic guitar and choir-backed chorus, proves to be a moving rendition.
From beginning to end, “And Now Let’s Turn to Page…” serves as a lovely country church primer, certainly worthy of a hearty “Amen.”