The Arka Tech

The sound of a movement

“They’s a new sound taking the world by storm,” – Unknown Hinson

That sound has won Grammy’s, sold out concerts and shaken the Nashville establishment in only a few years.

The “New Outlaw” movement in country music consists of three of the most respected artists currently in the business – Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton.

All three have made records that feel and sound the way country music should. Their careers have all been going in the same direction. Many people probably don’t realize there’s a reason for that – the sound. And that sound is producer Dave Cobb.

Cobb, in my opinion, has been responsible for the success of this new movement. Certainly, the artists are the ones that ultimately make it happen, along with good management teams and the right record labels, but the music goes nowhere without the right sound.

Listen to Simpson’s “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music,” or Stapleton’s “Traveller.” They fit together perfectly.

It wasn’t until the release of Simpson’s previously mentioned album that I found out about Cobb.

Turns out, Cobb had produced Shooter Jennings’s first three studio albums, the third of which, “The Wolf,” is one of my all-time favorite albums.

Take a listen to that record. Songs like “Concrete Cowboys” and “Higher” have that sound!

A little more digging will find that Cobb also produced two albums for Jamey Johnson that are arguably his best and most popular – “That Lonesome Song” and “The Guitar Song.”

Listen to music done by these artists that hasn’t been produced by Cobb. The songs are there, but the sound isn’t there.

Simpson recently announced that his upcoming album, “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth,” was self-produced. Whether Cobb assisted in the production or not, I don’t know.

It’ll be interesting and exciting to see where this music goes from here. It’s constantly growing and that sound is consistently great!