A Whiskey Riff Exclusive Interview With Luke Combs

A man playing a guitar

Meet Luke Combs, twenty-six year old singer/songwriter from Ashville, North Carolina.

If you were to ask Luke’s loyal fan community “The Bootleggers” what they think of their guy, their responses would make any artist hope for a fan base that supportive. When I reached out to them to see what they had to say I was inspired by their praise for him. “There’s a story in his music that describes each and every one of us,” said Justin Blanton. Popular bar/music venue in Tifton, Georgia owner JD Groover said “As good as is music is he is honestly a better human being. It’s been a pleasure watching him grow in my venue. Only the beginning for you kid”. This ole’ boy sure has great support system, and once you meet him at a show you can leave calling him a friend.

Combs’ songs cover a lot of different bases, and there’s something there for everyone. If you need beer drinkin’ song listen to “Beer Can”. Nursing a broken heart? You’ll relate to “Hurricane” and “She Got the Best of Me”. Missing a family member that you lost? “Used to You” is the one for you. His popular single “Hurricane” has been featured on Spotify’s New Boots playlist and has since reached over 1 million streams with no radio play. He prides himself in either writing or co-writing all of his music.

A kitchen with a sink and a toaster oven

What was your turning point to pursue music full time?

It was sort of a slow transition. I’ve been singing my whole life. In church choirs, at school. My mom encouraged me. I taught myself to play guitar at twenty one and have stuck with it, progressing slowly. I did open mic nights, then started doing my own small shows. I just didn’t know how to make it a career in the beginning so I had to figure that part out.

Did you ever try out for a singing competition show?

I was on spring break a few years ago when The Voice was having auditions in Atlanta, GA. In my audition round I was the only guy and you get about thirty seconds to sing. I made it to the next round that was at a studio, and then made it to the next cut. They had four audition cities and narrowed it from about 10,000 to 200 people. Then you don’t know if you made it to the show for a few months. I made it through those rounds with the producers, but I got a letter saying I wasn’t “interesting” enough for the show’s ratings so I didn’t get to the show. But it gave me a lot of confidence because I was good enough voice wise to make it through all those producer auditions.

So you’re out on the road a good bit this summer all over the place by the looks of your tour schedule. Which cities and venues are you most looking forward to and why?

Coyote Joes in Charlotte, NC is cool because it fits about 3000 people. The Georgia Theatre is always a favorite. And Toad Lick Music fest.

A kitchen with a sink and a toaster oven

Who have you opened for so far?

Let’s see. Corey Smith, Travis Tritt, Chase Rice, The Cadillac Three, Kelsea Ballerini, Brett Eldredge.

Your first full length record is coming out soon, what can you tell us about it?

Not too much, but the newest EP songs will be included. It’ll be majorly distributed wherever music is sold. It’ll come on vinyl too. And there will be eight brand new unreleased songs. But that’s all I can say right now.

How did you meet your band?

I met my band leader/rhythm guitarist Rob Williford through a friend’s mom when we went to Nashville a few years ago. When I moved to Nashville we wrote together, played a few gigs, and then I needed to put a new band together and he did that with me. He’s one of my best friends now. Then the rest of the guys I met through mutual friends so we’ve got Jake Sommers on drums, Tyler King on lead guitar, and Rob Menard on bass. The band really clicks, we’re kind of a “misfit mafia”. We’re different guys from different places, and we don’t have the certain “look” that so many bands try and put together to stand out. So that actually does make us stand out a little bit because we look like regular guys but we’re killing it.

What’s your song writing technique?

Everything I’ve released up to this point written or co-written. I never write a song right when I have the idea. I’ll write down a pseudo title to keep the idea, then come back to it at a scheduled song writing date. I want to write stuff that I like, not what someone else wants me to write. It seems to have worked out so far.

Anything you want to say to your fans?

If I could say anything to my fans, I would want them to know I appreciate them buying everything, how I love playing for them, and that’s what keeps me going. If there’s just one person in crowd that knows the words, we’ve succeeded.

A kitchen with a sink and a toaster oven

Check out some of Luke’s music:

Luke is out on the road all summer and beyond. He’ll even be at CMA Fest in Nashville. For updates follow @LukeCombsMusic on social media and check out LukeCombs.com

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock