Southern Electric Ode to Georgia.
‘Southern Star’ is partially named after a small-town bar Cobb used to frequent and partly after the star he says he always follows if he is away from Georgia. “No matter how far I go no matter how deep the dark. I know I can always count on the southern star”. He describes it as a love letter to his Southern roots. To ensure authenticity he has used only musicians from the state and recorded it at Capricorn Sound Studios used in the past by such Southern luminaries as Marshal Tucker and Charlie Daniels. It is self-produced.
The feel of the album is completely laid back and trundles along at a very easy lick in the same way Jimmy Buffet albums did. It is full of references to the Southern way of life and the pace which clearly is not to be rushed. ‘Shade Tree’ finds him “laid back with a cane pole” While on ‘It’s a Start’ he is down “Slaughter Creek dirt road eating crawfish pie”. “It feels so good being here with you just burning wood and telling jokes”. The simplicity of Southern life is further explored in ‘Livin’ the Dream’.
The pace changes very slightly with the funky oddly named ‘On’t Know When’. It has a distinctive gospel feel with a gentle female background accompanying the alleluias. The Honkytonk piano works perfectly. Elsewhere he uses a far more mellow organ and harmonica all of which supplement his distinctive Southern drawl.
The essence of the album is one of contentment and embracing the circumstances that you find yourself in. Initially, it has a very easy-listening feel, but that masks the underlying philosophical messages Cobb is trying to convey. He says “Music as we know it would not exist without the American South. It’s funky and sentimental. It’s simple and complex.”
It would be very easy to let the album drift pleasantly over you but that would be a disservice. Instead, take Cobbs’ advice pull up a rocking chair on the porch take out a cold one, and enjoy the sound and feel of the South. You won’t regret it.