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First Watch: Cobi, 'Don't You Cry For Me'

Cobi (born Jacob Schmidt) has been singing in Minnesota blues bars since he was a preteen. Now 29, Cobi has nearly seven million spins of "Don't You Cry For Me," a song filled with dark imagery of hangings, graves, running from the law and more. In an email to NPR Music, he writes that "'Don't You Cry for Me' is a reflection of the times we're living in. The reality is that people can no longer hide their acts of injustice. Now that the victims are hanging before us, we are all drastically impacted and affected." There's also a sense of helplessness and a desire to "cut the tree" of injustice down for good.

This version, captured live at a studio in Santa Monica known as The Village, features just Cobi and guitar. Gone from the single version is the big vocal chorus, the electronic whoosh and heavy backbeat. What comes through are the words and a young, spirited voice.

Cobi is on tour with the Augustines.

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