It’s finally here…
Luke Combs released the third single from his forthcoming album Gettin’ Old today, “Joe,” which tells the redemptive story of a man who battled alcoholism, and found the light “at the end of the bottle”
He previously debuted it with a stunning performance at the Grand Ole Opry back in 2021, and the song was co-written alongside Erik Dylan and James Slater.
Luke told Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen that the longtime fan-favorite was a way for him to make people who have struggled with alcoholism feel more seen.
He noted that, specifically in country music, everything is so centered around partying and drinking that we can often forget how hard that can be for some.
At the end of the day, he says he just wanted there to be a song for people who are sober, because “I don’t think that they get spoken to very much,” as he has personally experienced what a difficult journey that is after going through it with family and friends.
It all just makes me love Luke Combs that much more, and I know the lyrics will resonate with many people who have been through similar things, whether they’re sober now or have helped someone with that battle:
“There’s been a bunch of folks in my family that have struggled with alcoholism and things at times, you know, I would think a lot. We’d go out and you play a show for a hundred people or 10,000 people or whatever it is.
You know, our genre is so centric around drinking and partying and having a good time, and alcohol is always associated with that, you know? And hey, listen. I like to drink, but I always think about… I have some friends that live that sober lifestyle because they kind of have to, you know?
I just wanted to write it because there’s just not a lot of country songs that aren’t all about drinking or what… It’s like, being on the other side of that, I think, can be really hard if you’re a fan of our genre.
And so I wanted there to be a song in there for those people, too, because I don’t think that they ever get spoken to very much.”
He also shared a similar sentiment in a post on Instagram, saying he’s “probably one of the worst culprits” of promoting drinking and having a good time.
And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, he often wonders if there’s people in the crowds at his shows who don’t drink, or struggle with addiction, and what they’re “thinking or feeling when there’s thousands of people screaming ‘Beer Never Broke My Heart,’ ‘or 1, 2 Many.'”
It’s a topic we definitely don’t talk about enough in country music, and it’s awesome (and really self-aware) to see Luke shining a big ‘ol light on it like this and being so open about why he wrote it in the first place:
It’s been a long time coming for this one, but it was surely worth the wait.
Powerful stuff, indeed:
And of course, I love his acoustic version just as much:
Gettin’ Old will be out everywhere in one short month on March 24th, and includes 18 songs in total, right around seven months since the release of his 3rd career studio album Growin’ Up was released.
Luke revealed the tracklist a few weeks ago, which includes a cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” in addition to an Eric Church co-write called “My Song Will Never Die.”
He previously released “Love You Anyway,” as well as the lead single “Growin’ Up and Gettin’ Old.”
Gettin’ Old Tracklist:
1. “Growin’ Up and Gettin’ Old” (Luke Combs, Rob Snyder, Channing Wilson)
2. “Hannah Ford Road” (Luke Combs, Jamie Davis)
3. “Back 40 Back” (Luke Combs, Ray Fulcher, Jeff Hyde, Driver Williams)
4. “You Found Yours” (Luke Combs, Thomas Archer, Dan Isbell, James McNair)
5. “The Beer, The Band, And The Barstool” (Luke Combs, Rob Williford, Reid Isbell)
6. “Still” (Luke Combs, Jamie Davis, Ray Fulcher, Dan Isbell, Dustin Hunley)
7. “See Me Now” (Luke Combs, Kenton Bryant, Ray Fulcher, James McNair)
8. “Joe” (Luke Combs, Erik Dylan, James Slater)
9. “A Song Was Born” (Luke Combs, Casey Beathard, Dan Isbell, Reid Isbell)
10. “My Song Will Never Die” (Eric Church, Travis Meadows, Jonathan Singleton)
11. “Where The Wild Thigns Are” (Randy Montana, Dave Turnbull)
12. “Love You Anyway” (Luke Combs, Ray Fulcher, Dan Isbell)
13. “Take You With Me” (Luke Combs, James McNair, Rob Williford)
14. “Fast Car” (Tracy Chapman)
15. “Tattoo On A Sunburn” (Lukes Combs, Ray Fulcher, Ben Hayslip, Dan Isbell)
16. “5 Leaf Clover” (Luke Combs, Jessi Alexander, Chase McGill)
17. “Fox In The Henhouse” (Luke Combs, Jamie Davis, Dan Isbell, Dustin Hunley)
18. “The Part” (Luke Combs, Kenton Bryant, Ray Fulcher)