ATLANTA - For Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Brent Cobb, music was an important part of growing up in Georgia.
“Pretty much the only way I would learn anything was through music. You know, I wasn’t good at tests, I wasn’t good at studying, but if I could play song, or you could sing me a song, I could learn that way,” he says.
It’s a similar story for Grammy winner Amy Ray, whose path to music stardom with Indigo Girls stretches all the way back to the classroom.
“One time I had this substitute teacher…and she came in and she taught us an English course using Bob Dylan lyrics,” Ray says. “And I was like, ‘I’m hooked! I’m hooked from now on!’”
Those experiences led both artists to support the Georgia Music Foundation, a non-profit that supports music education, preservation, and outreach. Tuesday night, Cobb and Ray will host “Gretsch Presents Georgia On My Mind,” a benefit concert for the foundation. It’s the seventh annual event, but first the time it’ll be done virtually.
“I was on tour with Indigo Girls, and we played a few dates and got home and shut everything down, and it was just inevitable that it was gonna happen in-person. But it’s really cool, because most of the artists, if not all of them, agreed to do their own videos and it’s an awesome thing. I mean, it might even be a cooler thing in the end.”
Participating artists include Amy Grant, Brandi Carlile, Chuck Leavell, and Indigo Girls — and the hosts say they expect a powerful night of music celebrating both the state of Georgia, and the endurance of the human spirit.
“I’ve always played, whether I was happy or sad or in between,” says Cobb. “I have a five-year-old daughter and I tell her to do the same, if she’s feeling mad or sad or any emotion, sing about it. Whatever it is.”