Georgia artists host star-studded online benefit concert

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.”

“Gretsch Presents Georgia On My Mind” will stream live Tuesday, May 26th, starting at 8:00 p.m. — you can watch and make donations on the Georgia Music Foundation’s website and Facebook page.