‘Southern Star’ Brent Cobb ready to ride the line of country and soul into The Blue Note

The first sound you hear on Brent Cobb’s 2023 album “Southern Star” is an electric piano, warm and resonant, mixing its own palette of colors. And this electric piano speaks to you like some spiritual tour guide, imploring you to look around and absorb your surroundings: this is the heart of the South.

As you reckon with the place you’re in, you begin reckoning with all the intersections that lead there. Here, Otis Redding songs pour forth from dusty jukeboxes to echo off the grainy walls of country-western bars; here, the South’s past and present inform — but never dictate — its future.

You hear all this, experience all this, feel all this in a second’s worth of music — maybe two seconds, if we’re generous with the clock. Lining every sound with meaning is deliberate, and also the most natural thing in the world to Cobb.