Luke Combs has been a busy man as of late, and it comes as no surprise. Luke has gained a fanbase of over 100,000 social media followers, the product of his staggering 200 or more live performances each year, resulting in an unbelievable 15,000,000 online streams across the globe. His name has been popping up on every ‘Rising Star To Know’ list across the internet to go with a new record deal with River House Artists/Columbia Nashville and a single, titled ‘Hurricane,‘ on it’s way to country radio). And just recently he was named an opening act on Brantley Gilbert’s 2017 The Devil Don’t Sleep Tour- it’s a wonder how he gets a moment to himself these days, but he was willing to take a break from his busy schedule for New England Country Music.
With ‘Hurricane’ already racking up 20 million online streams, fans are already yearning for a full length album, which Luke says the wait is almost over. “There’s no official release date yet- before the end of the year. I’m super excited about it, I would say more anxious for everybody to hear it. These are songs that I’ve had written for a while and I’m just excited for people to get to hear them.” As we continued to discuss the album, we began to discuss some of Luke’s favorite bits and pieces, to which he couldn’t nail down just one. “I think the record is very different, from song to song it changes so much, ‘Hurricane,’ I love that tune, and the title track ‘This One’s For You’ is a song I wrote when I had just gotten to town about some stuff that I was going through, and that’s a special song to me, some of the more broken down moments on the album are some of my favorites.” Being a songwriter, Combs takes great pride in writing all of his own music, and discovers lyrically inspiration pretty much anywhere. “Me and a couple buddies were sitting around a room one night, and one of my friends told a story about his friend who had just gone through a breakup, and how he didn’t want to go out fearing that he’d run into her, I said well why don’t we try to meet these ideas in the middle, and that’s how we came up with ‘Hurricane.'”
A wildly successful live performer, more than 200 shows played each year is no easy feat for many seasoned country veterans, but Luke couldn’t be happier about the way things have been going. “It’s been great, the live shows have been awesome and to me that’s what is most important, going out and being able to deliver a good live show is so important, and I think that the more we play, the more the people hear the music, the more requests we get, the more singing we see in the audience is just super cool to see.” Even after the extensive touring, Combs has only been making music for 5 years, which is seemingly unheard of for the type of fanbase that he has acquired in such a short amount of time, which he credits the band’s hard work and determination as a major factor. “When I started playing about 5 years ago, I put a band together in North Carolina, we were playing a bunch and I put together two self distributed EP’s out and people caught on to those, and have been playing them for their friends, we moved to town, put the new EP out, and have been on the road for 14 months, so it’s a combination of staying busy and staying present as a band.”
So much touring would wear down most, but Combs seemed enthusiastic to tell us his passion for his live shows and his fans. “When you’re doing what you love, it never seems like work. I view it as a right of passage, I don’t want to get somewhere and feel that I haven’t earned it, that I’m not prepared to be where I’m playing at, and I think by playing out so much and becoming a seasoned road warrior that it really helps me get through those times where I’m really putting in the work, I’m going out shaking hands and kissing babies, gaining fans, and going places that I’ve never been, stuff like that makes it easy because there’s so much cool stuff that make it worth it.”
So much touring, time on the bus, time in the studio, its a wonder how Luke finds time for anything besides music, but when asked about his hobbies off the road, he didn’t take long to respond. “I like to shoot a bunch, I love to be turkey hunting- turkey season is coming up around here so I can’t wait- and I really just love to sit on the couch and unplug, get some rest, and take my foot off the gas.” Who could blame him after his schedule? The breaks from the road don’t last too long though, especially after his big announcement to join Brantley Gilbert on the road on his upcoming winter tour, to which no New England dates have been added yet, but Luke assured us not to worry. “I’ll be up there early next year, it’s an area that I’ve been dying to get to, and I’m super excited to get up to you guys and play some shows.” New dates for The Devil Don’t Sleep Tour will be announced 11/11, so be sure to check Luke’s website for new concert dates, and keep your fingers crossed to see him in a city near you soon.