Who’s New: Luke Combs

Who’s New: Luke Combs

Born: Charlotte, N.C.
Lives: Nashville
Age: 26
Single: “Hurricane”
Album: This One’s for You (coming this fall)
Influences: Vince Gill, Brooks & Dunn, Clint Black, Eric Church
Twitter: @LukeCombsMusic

Inside Scoop

After picking up the guitar at age 21 while attending Appalachian State University (Eric Church’s alma mater) in Boone, N.C., Luke Combs began playing gigs around his college town and developing a passionate fan base. Luke released a couple of EPs in 2014 before moving to Nashville two years ago to follow his dream of becoming a country star. This fall, Luke will release his debut album, This One’s for You, featuring the lead single “Hurricane.”

Early Inspiration

“I grew up listening to Vince Gill and Brooks & Dunn. Those were the two I was singing at 5 and 6 years old. My first concert I ever went to was Vince Gill. I was 6 and my mom and my grandma told me I was going to a minor league baseball game, but they were really taking me to Verizon Wireless Amphitheater to see Vince Gill. We left early because it started thunderstorming and I started crying. I made it halfway through, but that was a great first concert [laughing].”

Boone Town

“I spent five years at Appalachian State University. I loved Boone. That’s where I started playing. I grew up singing, but I didn’t start playing guitar until I was 21. I was kinda bored one summer and just kinda learned the basic chords and progressed from there. I’ve been singing ever since I could talk. It’s something that came naturally to me. It’s something I gravitated toward in school and church and around the house. I was singing all the time.”

Nashville Bound

“I came to Nashville in 2014, and I just wanted to play, but I wanted to play my stuff. I kept telling people that I’ve got fans, I needed to get shows. I knew I could bring people to the venues, and then I put ‘Hurricane’ out in June of last year on my own. I had just singed a booking deal. I had a few shows, then ‘Hurricane’ did really well and the shows just kept picking up. So we’ve been touring hard now for the last year—three shows a week for a year. We just announced a West Coast tour that starts in mid-September. We’re going out West to Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Oregon, Washington, California, Texas, Arizona. It’s 30-something days, 22 dates. Busy is good.”

New Album

This One’s for You comes out this fall. It’s got 12 songs on it. I co-wrote every one. I think it’s a good synopsis of who I am. I don’t think there’s one track that sounds the same as another. It’s not in one lane. From track to track it’s different every time. That’s the way I approach my writing. I don’t go in and say I need to write a song like ‘Drink in My Hand’ by Eric Church. I just go in and the best song that I have in me comes out. I’m not afraid to put it out there. I have a couple different favorites on the album. ‘Hurricane’ led to me having the opportunity to make the album, so I love that song. ‘I Got Away With You’ is probably my favorite written song on the album. It’s a little slower love song. Very broken down. We play one song live called ‘Honky-Tonk Highway,’ and it closes the album out. That’s my favorite song to play live because it gets the crowd going.”

My Sound

“My sound is honest. I know sonically that doesn’t help, but I think for me it is what it is. I don’t go into the studio with my producer and say ‘Let’s try to have a song that sounds like a Justin Moore song or a Jon Pardi song or whatever.’ It’s just whatever comes out, I’m really OK with that because I don’t want to do any song injustice by trying to make it sound like something that it’s not meant to be. I just roll with it. What you see is what you get. Each song on the album is a different snippet of my life at some point. I really just what people to see my depth. I’m just an average Joe who writes music that I hope people can relate to. If someone connects with one song on the album, that’s a success for me.”

photo courtesy CK Photo

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