First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there celebrating! When it comes to being grateful, country musicians are never hesitant to dish out the thanks to their family, friends, and fans. Aside from the givens, I am also personally thankful for the variety in today’s music industry and the accessibility to which we, as consumers, can access music and art forms via numerous media outlets. Finding and listening to music has never been more simple, and it makes discovering your next favorite artist that much easier. So, without further ado, let’s introduce this week’s #FridayFind: country newcomer Luke Combs.
Having just released his debut full-length album This One’s For You this June, Combs is already fighting his way to the top of the Billboard country charts and even has a few CMT and CMA award nominations to his name. The beer-drinking, chord-strumming North Carolina native’s first album as a whole went to #1 on the US country chart and peaked at #5 on the US all-genre chart, and so far includes the two hit singles “Hurricane” and “When It Rains It Pours”.
From gridirons to stages, Combs always had a passion for football and writing songs growing up in North Carolina. After attending college for four years, he moved to Nashville to pursue a career in country music, and after releasing 3 EPs and his first LP, the 27-year-old is now selling out the Grand Ole Opry’s Ryman Auditorium in a matter of minutes. Don’t believe that? Check out the full story here. In addition to playing the Ryman, he’s also hitting 20+ other locations throughout the beginning of 2018 on the second stretch of his Don’t Tempt Me With A Good Time Tour. (Check the rest of the tour schedule here!)
As a songwriter, Combs has pure talent, there’s no doubt about that. He has writing credits on each of the twelve songs on his 2017 record, and while two of them have already gone to #1 on the country charts, I don’t think many more are far behind. (Personally, my money’s on the album’s second song, “Memories Are Made Of”. You heard it here first!) When it comes to his songwriting and storytelling ability, he has the makings of the next Eric Church, Bruce Springsteen, or Billy Joel. While plenty of other new Nashville artists are surviving on singles written by separate hit-producing songwriters, Combs makes his own direction on his records throughout every step of the production process. His songs are a composition of heavy and steady drumming with acoustic and electric guitar riffs mixed in; his voice also acts as a key characteristic of his style, and its yearning, powerful nature provides the perfect sonic support of his heart-wrenching, clever, and honest lyrics.
Keep your ears open for more news about Luke Combs because there’s no doubt that within a year or two he could make the swift and significant jump from #FridayFind to #MondayHero right here on Rhythm & Boots.
So satisfied with this artist review that now you absolutely must listen to his music? Check out the Top 4 must-know Luke Combs songs below, and find them on the #FridayFinds playlist on Spotify above.
- “Hurricane” (2016) – As his first major album single release ever, this song quickly became the #1 song on the Country Airplay chart (which tabulates radio plays across American country music stations), while making it to #3 on the US Country chart (which calculates downloads/streams), and even #31 on the Billboard Hot 100. While this song does have a solemn feel to it, its catchiness makes it a must-know when it comes to Combs’ music. The build-up at the end of each verse leading into the chorus makes the song powerful and intense. If you’re not ready, this one will hit you like a hurricane.
- “Sheriff You Want To” (2014) – This song is certainly the deepest cut out of the four, coming off his second EP, Can I Get An Outlaw. Being the first Combs song I ever heard, the cleverness of its lyrics will make you want to laugh and jam out as soon as the first chorus hits. Combs’ storytelling ability is what makes him stand out from other country newcomers in this day and age, and this song is a primary example of his creative talent mixed with his light-hearted nature.
- “This One’s For You” (2017) – Speaking of Thanksgiving, this song is a direct homage to the people in Combs’ life that have helped him make it to this point in his life. For a slower, more neotraditionalist country track, this song has a slightly different feel than Combs’ other hits to this point, but packs as much of a punch as any uptempo track. If you’re feeling thankful and brave, bring and beer and bump this ballad — you won’t regret it.
- “When It Rains It Pours” (2017) – After the success of the #1 track “Hurricane”, this follow-up had a lot to live up to. In all honesty, this track blows the first track out of the water. In addition to having a must-watch music video as accompaniment, this song is country music storytelling at its best. After a bad breakup, the main character of the song thinks it’ll be all bad news from there on out. When it turns out the breakup puts him on a streak of good luck instead of misfortune, he has no choice but to live it out to the fullest. Whereas most post breakup songs are mean and miserable (hi there, Taylor Swift), this is the post breakup party anthem that we’ve all been waiting for.
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