As “Hurricane” Eyes the No. 1 Spot on the Country Charts, Luke Combs Is Finding More Common Ground With “Super Nice Dude” Eric Church

As “Hurricane” Eyes the No. 1 Spot on the Country Charts, Luke Combs Is Finding More Common Ground With “Super Nice Dude” Eric Church

Let’s play a little Thursday trivia.

How many singles did Eric Church release before reaching No. 1?

Give up? 10. It wasn’t until Eric’s 10th single, “Drink in My Hand,” in 2011 that he scored a Billboard No. 1 tune.

Depending on which way the wind blows, Luke Combs’ debut single, “Hurricane”—currently No. 2—could be the No. 1 country song on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart next week. The tune has already ascended to the top spot on the Mediabase chart for the week of May 4–10.

Why is this relevant? It’s not, really, other than the fact that both Eric and Luke are North Carolina natives who attended college at Appalachian State University in the small town of Boone, N.C. While Luke was attending Appy State in 2009, Eric’s career was really beginning to take off with the release of his sophomore album, Carolina, which spawned Top 10 hits “Love Your Love the Most” and “Hell on the Heart.”

NCD editor Jim Casey and Luke Combs in studio.

“I got my start playing in a bunch of places [around Boone] that Eric used to play,” say Luke to Nash Country Daily. “I’ve heard that Eric played one of his first shows at a place called Woodlands Barbecue. It’s actually in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, which is about a 10-minute drive from Boone. There was a rumor it was the first place he ever played up there. I think he was in a group called the Mountain Boys. And so, I would play there with my buddy, Adam, every Sunday for two hours.

“When Carolina came out in 2009, that was my first year of college. That’s when I got my hands on that record and really fell in love with it. When Chief came out in 2011, I was just picking the guitar up. He did his record release show in Boone that year, actually, for that album. It was 10 bucks and you got a copy of the album when you went to the show. That was  the place to be, man. Now, it’s funny, because I’ve had the chance to meet Eric. I met him in Louisville when he was playing a festival up there, and he’s good buddies with one of my favorite co-writers and a good friend of mine, Jonathan Singleton. They had the same manager for a long time. So me and Jonathan drove up there and got to hang with him, and that was when I was in the midst of trying to figure out where I wanted to go with my record deal. And so we kind of talked about music, and what to look for in a label and how to make that decision. That was really awesome, man. It was a really great experience and he was a super nice dude.”

Luke will drop his debut album, This One’s for You, on June 2. The 12-song offering features a dozen songs that Luke co-wrote.

Luke will also join Brantley Gilbert’s Devil Don’t Sleep Tour on June 2, with dates running through the summer.

Daily Dose

Celebrate the USA

Celebrate the USA

Old Dominion will deliver some fireworks of their own on July 4 as they co-host Westwood One’s four-hour holiday special, Celebrate the USA. Stations can air the show between July 4 and July 7, 6 a.m. to midnight. Check your local listings for air times.