Luke Combs Talks Best Song He Wrote, His Johnny Cash Guitar And New Music
By Blake Taylor
November 21, 2019
Luke Combs is celebrating his successful year and the release of his new album, What You See Is What You Get, with the iHeartCountry LIVE with Luke Combs presented by State Farm® show in New York City. Fans traveled from all over the country to catch the intimate show on Wednesday night (November 20).
What You See Is What You Get is Combs' second studio album following his EP The Prequel, released earlier this year, and his 2017 debut, This One's For You. His current single from the new album, "Even Though I'm Leaving," marks his seventh consecutive No. 1 single. Additionally, just last Wednesday (November 13) at the 2019 CMA Awards, Combs was named Male Vocalist of the Year.
To kick off the night, Combs performed "When It Rains It Pours," which he immediately followed up with a similarly themed song from his new album called "Every Little Bit Helps." Combs' guitar caught the eye of the host of the show, Bobby Bones, which prompted the question, "How many guitars do you have?"
"About 200," Combs replies, going on to explain although he' does occasionally get them for free, the coolest one he has is one he bought in Nashville that used to belong to Johnny Cash.
"I just happen to be home for a day and I was on my cell phone, as many of us often are, and I happen to see a post pop up from Carters Vintage Guitars," Combs shares. "It was posted two minutes ago and it said, 'We just got one of Johnny Cash's guitars in and it's for sale.' So I called them and I said, 'I'm on the way,'"
After revealing that he's the proud owner of Johnny Cash's guitar, Combs then turned to answer a fan's question. "Given the enormous success of your first album, what was the experience like writing and recording what you see is what you get?" the fan asked.
"When I was writing stuff for the second album, I was just writing," Combs explains. "Some of the songs I wrote before This One's For You even came out, so there wasn't any pressure like 'oh man, everyone thinks this album is so good, and now I gotta write that again.'"
He adds, "There are definitely some songs I've written more recently, but I never really let the pressure get to me in that sense."
Next up, Combs played his current emotional single, "Even Though I'm Leaving," co-written by Ray Fulcher and Wyatt B. Durrette. "That was the first song we ever wrote together," Combs shares, adding, "We went in this little office and like seven or eight hours later we came out with 'Even Though I'm Leaving' and it was awesome."
After playing the touching track, Combs transitioned into a more energetic number, "Lovin' On You," followed by the fan-favorite hit, "Beer Never Broke My Heart," and "One Number Away."
Combs then brought the 2019 CMA Award winning Song of the Year, "Beautiful Crazy" to the stage. "Do you know this song, Rob?" Combs jokingly asks Robert Williford, who's on guitar for the show and also one of the co-writers of the song.
"Me and Rob wrote this song together with our buddy Wyatt," Combs explains. "We wrote it about my fiancee before we officially started dating, and what do you know Rob, we done went and wrote the song of the year! So congrats to you, buddy, that's real awesome."
Following the song of the year, Combs sang what he calls "the first good song" that he ever wrote, "She Got The Best Of Me."
Also making it on Combs' list of favorite artist is the iconic country duo, Brooks & Dunn. For about four years now, Combs has been covering their hit, "Brand New Man," at his shows. This past year he was asked to join the duo and record a new version of the song with them.
"I never though that Brooks & Dunn would ask me to come sing this song with them. I also never thought that we would get nominated for a Grammy for that," he says about their recently announced Grammy nomination for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. "Now that's pretty cool," he adds before belting out the classic.
As the night came started to come to a close, Combs was sure to thank his fans for all their support from the very beginning. "We couldn't do it without y'all," he expresses before playing the final song of the night, his first No. 1 single, "Hurricane."
Combs is currently out on the road for his "Beer Never Broke My Heart Tour," which will wrap up with two back-to-back shows at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on December 12 and 13. He won't be off long before hitting the road again for his "What You See Is What You Get Tour" kicking off on February 7 in Columbia, Missouri. Tickets to the tour are available now.
Photo: Adrianna Casiano for iHeartRadio