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Producer Dave Cobb on Chris Stapleton’s Billboard 200 Run for ‚Traveller‘

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One of Nashville’s top producers, Dave Cobb has collaborated with Jason Isbell, Bruce Springsteen, Sturgill Simpson, Zac Brown Band, Elle King, Shooter Jennings, John Prine, Jamey Johnson, and many others. The six-time Grammy winner’s most recent credits include co-producing Brandi Carlile’s By the Way, I Forgive You, which won three Grammys in 2019, including best Americana album; and a music consultant role on 2018’s A Star Is Born soundtrack, which has sold over 2 million equivalent units in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music.

But it was his work on Chris Stapleton’s breakthrough LP, Traveller, that changed his career forever. With an initial bow at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 in May 2015, the album reentered the chart that November, shifting 177,000 equivalent album units to surge all the way to No. 1, earning the pair their first-ever chart-topping record. The gains followed Stapleton’s unexpected sweep of the 2015 CMA Awards, which included a surprise duet alongside pop star Justin Timberlake (“Tennessee Whiskey”/“Drink You Away”) and wins for male vocalist of the year, best new artist, and album of the year. 

The record’s further achievements include consecutive Billboard Music Award wins for top country album in 2015 and 2016; and album of the year prize at the 2016 Academy of Country Music Awards. “I hunted Dave down. I loved the sonic quality he got on Sturgill [Simpson]’s records, and wasn’t sure you could still make records that sounded like that, the older records I had in my head,” Stapleton told Billboard at the time. “We sold 27,000 records the first week and played David Letterman, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, but [after the CMA’s] the album went back into the chart at No. 1. Doesn’t suck! The lesson is, make music that you love.”

The surprise hit also led Cobb to launch his own label and publishing company, Low Country Sound, in partnership with Warner Music Group subsidiary Elektra and publisher Warner Chappell Music. The imprint’s releases to date have included titles for Shooter Jennings, Anderson East, The Highwomen, Rival Sons, and his cousin, Brent Cobb. Below, he recalls the triumph.

 


 

I first heard Chris’ old band The SteelDrivers. His voice was just out of this world. Then I ran into him casually in a guitar shop and was like ‘Are you Chris Stapleton?’ He was like ‘yeah…’ (laughs). It felt like a long time coming before we actually got to make music, but when we did I was already a big fan. You just don’t hear voices like that every day. 

Traveller was made for the right reasons. We wanted to make the most pure and honest album that we could, one that represented the best version of his sound. There was no competitive nature or talk of making it to the top of the Billboard charts because it seemed impossible at the time. It was like riding a train that wasn’t stopping. 

I’ll never forget playing the CMAs with Justin Timberlake. When we started, all the nerves just went away, and there was magic in the air. It felt all-encompassing. At the Grammys, too, I remember getting up on stage with Chris and just feeling extremely emotional about all of the years both of us had worked just to have a career in music, which isn’t the easiest field, and just thinking ‘man we’ll be okay for a little bit, at least a year.’

When the record took off, I was literally a continent away, in Berlin, Germany, working on a record, so I wasn’t really able to feel it happening. It all felt like a dream. But we got together about a month later to do a track for his wife Morgane called “You Are My Sunshine.” We got in the studio and just detoxed from it all, like ‘can you believe what just happened?’ We were all kind of numb. 

To be on the Billboard 200 alone was beyond any dream I ever had in my life, but to be on the chart for over 200 weeks was insane. As a kid, the ranking was always the litmus test of success. It’s something I’ll be proud of for the rest of my life, and I’m sure Chris and Morgane will be too.

This article originally appeared in the Jan. 11 issue of Billboard.





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Matt Wilkinson’s 2020 U.K. Artists to Watch For January

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Our new columnist Matt Wilkinson is one of the U.K.’s best known new music tastemakers, presenting a daily show on Apple Music where he reports on artists who are changing the way we listen. Having originally made his name as New Music Editor of NME, Matt continues to mine the best new music, chronicling the whole of the U.K. scene, and telling the stories behind the songs of the day.

Listen to Matt’s Apple Music show live for free or on-demand Mondays-Fridays at apple.co/B1_Matt, and read his picks for the recent U.K. releases you need to know about below. 

1. Georgia, Seeking Thrills

In terms of hype, Georgia’s second album feels more like her debut. There’s certainly a sense here in London that she’s about to cross over, after more than five years as a cult artist. She’s got an encyclopedic knowledge of music! At the heart of Seeking Thrills is a deep appreciation for Chicago and Detroit: house and techno’s influence is everywhere. Listen even closer and you’ll also hear subtle nods to classic R&B („Honey Dripping Sky“), John Lydon’s Public Image Limited („Feel It“) and straight-up pop („About Work The Dancefloor“).

2. Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, „Reducer“ 

If you’re going to SXSW 2020, make sure you watch Pigs x7, who I’ve been calling “the loudest band in Britain” for a while now on the show. Sometimes I think metal bands from our side of the pond can sound too weedy, like they don’t really mean what they’re preaching… but not so with this lot. There’s just the right amount of absurdity about them to make it all balance out perfectly. „Reducer“ opens their new record Viscerals, and it gives me the exact same feeling as when I first heard King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard.

3. Rarelyalways, „Figure“

This track actually embodies what it SOUNDS like to walk around certain parts of London right now!! I did a quick search and couldn’t find a single article about it, so you’re gonna have to go and listen to it yourself to hear how brilliant it is. It made my jaw hit the floor the first time I heard it. Now I’ve had a chance to live with it for a while, „Figure“ reminds me of early Dizzee Rascal in terms of its intensity, but with a clear nod to what Moses Boyd, Kamasi Washington and others have been doing in jazz in recent years.

4. Meth Math, „Perreando Y Llorando“

This threepiece grew up in one of the hottest places in Mexico (the manufacturing city of Hermosillo), but have this gothy, doom pop thing going on. Hooking up with L.A.’s In Real Life label, their debut single „Perreando Y Llorando“ (translation: „Grinding and Crying”) is drenched in reverb, and the accompanying horrorshow-vid is more Berghain than Baja.

5. Lauren Auder, „June 14th“

Lauren Auder have been kicking around the U.K.’s emerging music scene for a while; every now and then I’d spot them at buzzy new band gigs, or being mentioned in passing by other rising artists who’d be on my show. After a couple of previous releases, I feel like they’ve really hit their stride on this track, which is heavy in a Scott Walker kind of way; all subdued, world-weary strings, and a vocal that spits and spews yet still somehow manages to stay afloat while sounding utterly ethereal.





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Nosipho – Thembalami (Official Music Video)

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Nosipho Silinda shares the official music video to match her debut single, ‚Thembalami‘. Fans demanded the video from the
upcoming artist as the song was topping charts hitting #1 on Gagasi and Jozi Fm, also making an entrance on other SABC chart shows across the country. A light heated and fun video depicting Nosipho’s youthful and vibrant personality will start airing on national television in the upcoming weekend.

Available to download/stream via

© 2019 Sheer Sound

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Follow Nosipho online:
Instagram: @Therealnocy_jay
Facebook: @ Nosipho Silinda
Twitter: @Therealnocy_jay

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Mark Cuban Will Be the Landlord for New Live Nation Venue in Dallas

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Live Nation is opening a new 1,000-capacity music venue called Hi-Fi Dallas in Texas’ Design District. The 25,000-sq.-ft. club will be located just south of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks’ practice facility on land purchased by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Billboard has confirmed.

According to the Dallas Morning News who first reported the news, Cuban approached Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino about the idea for the club, which is slated to open in May.

The former warehouse and furniture store will feature its main music hall, an outdoor patio and a VIP area called the Echo Lounge.

Hi-Fi will add to Live Nation’s portfolio in Dallas which already includes the House of Blues in Victory Park that features a 1,650-cap main hall as well as a 400-cap room called the Cambridge Room. The industry giant also controls the Toyota Music Factory in Irving that can hold anywhere between 2,500 to 8,000 fans.

The new 1,000-capacity club will help Live Nation work with smaller bands on their way up and compete with Dallas’ jam-packed music scene that includes the Bomb Factory, The Granada Theater and more.

Live Nation is expected to announce Hi-Fi Dallas’ first slate of shows in early February.






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