Andrew Combs
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Andrew Combs

Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Band Americana Country

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"CD Review - Andrew Combs "Worried Man""

Just when you think you're heard the best of the up-and-coming Americana stars, along comes one whose music almost takes your breathe away... - No Depression


"Americana Acts in Their 20s Inspired by ’70s Songwriting"

There’s a new-old movement quietly gathering steam among youthful Americana acts. Singer-songwriters in their early 20s — like Robert Ellis, Dylan LeBlanc and Andrew Combs — are finding an appealing model in the literate, folk-leaning, countercultural storytellers who carved out a place in country music from the late ‘60s through the ‘70s... - CMT Edge


"Exclusive: Hear Two New Songs From Andrew Combs"

On April 10, gifted Nashville singer-songwriter Andrew Combs will release the digital singles “Big Bad Love” and “Take It From Me.” There will also be 500 limited edition vinyl 7”, screen-printed and hand-numbered, designed by Andrew Combs and Kristen Beck. Fans will be able to download the singles or pre-order a copy of the 7” on April 10th via Bandcamp. Get an exclusive preview of the songs below... - American Songwriter


"Andrew Combs Announces Debut Album Worried Man; Free Download"

Nashville Singer-songwriter Andrew Combs will release his debut album, Worried Man, on October 30 via Coin Records.... - American Songwriter


"Andrew Combs: Diamond Cuts"

The view from first base is pretty clear: Andrew Combs was never meant to be a major league pitcher. It’s an unseasonably warm late-winter afternoon in East Nashville and Combs has just taken the mound. His team, which includes American Songwriter, members of his band and a cross-section of friends and acquaintances, is down by fifteen runs, just shy of getting mercy-ruled off the field. But this isn’t really about exhibiting athletic prowess as much it is about getting together, drinking beer and goofing off. Oh, and there’s allegedly a video being shot for the song “Take It From Me” from Combs’ stellar full-length debut, but that whole prospect seems to have taken a back seat to pounding beers and sliding around in the mud. And did we mention that this was all the idea of a British dude, Combs’ pedal-steel player Spencer Cullum Jr., who had never played baseball before in his life?


But for all the awkwardness of musicians and journalists attempting to play sports, it’s also a perfect summation of Texas-native Combs’ music and its place in Nashville’s modern musical landscape. It’s easy-going, fun, and heartfelt; loose and lovable with a tinge of sadness around the edges – or really sad if you include this author’s at-bats, which for the sake of his pride we won’t. There’s camaraderie even in the midst of competition, reverence for tradition, a reverence for the form but a devil-may-care attitude when it comes to playing the actual game. While Combs and crew may have never made it passed Babe Ruth league on the baseball diamond, it’s pretty clear that they’re working their way up to the majors in Nashville music. There’s something about the shambling self-effacement and off-kilter humor amidst the foul balls and base-sliding, that embodies the best qualities of Nashville’s ever expanding talent pool. And listening to Combs’ debut album only confirms it.

... - American Songwriter


"Andrew Combs is the Worried Man"

Just as you can’t define funny, you really can’t describe that musical something that points an Americana artist toward popularity. Some guys with guitars have it. Others seem to try really hard, but…

Whatever that ingredient Andrew Combs, whose new release Worried Man is set for October 30th release, has it. Right from the twangy and rollicking “Devil’s Got My Woman” – with just the right flavoring of crying steel and slightly corny lyrics to make it feel like an old-time favorite – to the more Memphis rock-oriented, keys-filled title track, Combs has the sonic magic down.

It’s just gritty enough, just classy enough, just loud enough, just rollicking enough, just slow enough, just…well, you get the idea.

In a world full of pretenders, the Texas bred, Nashville based Combs is the genuine article, telling interviewers that late nights and hot coffee fuel his writing muse. Sure, that sounds like just another poseur, wanting to be all Merle and Guy -- but one listen to the 11 tracks on this album and you will be a believer. He’s not Merle or Guy, but give him time – something tells us this “Worried Man” is going to make his own mark in country soul rock Americana. He’s got it. - The Alternate Root


"Andrew Combs (Best of Soundland Music Festival) #3"

3. Andrew Combs
We fell in love with Andrew when he opened our Levi Lowrey in Indianapolis last winter, but seeing him with a full band (backed by Caitlin Rose’s band) was something special. Whiskey-drenched, heartfelt folk twang that will make your momma cry. - My Old Kentucky Blog


"Andrew Combs CD Release feat. Caitlin Rose, Rayland Baxter & Giving Tree"

For the young and hard-country inclined — like Andrew Combs — vintage sounds aren’t limited to the ’70s and earlier; vintage could mean music made late in the Reagan Era, for instance, like Steve Earle’s Guitar Town. A case in point: The opener on Combs’ noteworthy debut EP, Tennessee Time, sounds like a roughened, Earle-style vocal attack over a Don Williams track. And, whether it’s conscious or not, that combination of eras and sensibilities yields a well-written, well-sung, well-played result. Based on this five-song singer-songwriter-meets-honky-tonker set, it wouldn’t be such a stretch to compare Combs to Hayes Carll — though he lacks Carll’s wry humor — or to another Earle: Justin Townes, though Combs doesn’t reach back quite as far for inspiration. One more thing he’s got going for him is that he’s found a well-suited singing partner in Heidi Feek, the daughter of Rory Feek, who happens to be one-half of a male-female country duo himself.
— Jewly Hight - Nashville Scene


"Andrew Combs - Tennessee Time (Self Released, 2010)"

Andrew Combs is a young Texan who’s developed a folksy, throwback singer-songwriter sound amid the crossover dreams and overproduction of Nashville. He cites Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt as influences, and the edges of his voice bring to mind Chris Knight and Gram Parsons; Combs’ girlfriend Heidi Feek adds harmony on a few tracks, lending a Gram/Emmylou vibe. There’s a strong feel for Steve Earle in the album’s title track, particularly in the way the verses peak in the middle and trail off to find the song’s title sung as a contented exhalation. All fives tracks are taken at mid-tempo, but two are turned out as honky-tonkers and two as introspective country-rockers. Combs’ longing on the opening “Hummingbird” is shaded blue by Dustin Ransom’s barroom piano, echoing the mood Jack Ingram laid down on Live at Adair’s. Combs’ satisfaction with the Volunteer State is expressed in the comforts of “Tennessee Time” as Luke Herbert keeps time on the rim of his drum and Jeremy Fetzer adds a soulful baritone guitar solo. You can hear Hank Williams’ yearning in the confessional love song, “Wanderin’ Heart,” and the closing “Won’t Catch me” is sung with acoustic guitar and harmonica. All five tracks are thoughtfully sung and played, and a bonus cover of “Dark End of the Street,” available with EP purchase at Bandcamp, further exemplifies Combs’ affinity for Southern soul. Here’s hoping a full album is coming soon!
- www.nodepression.com


"Andrew Combs Debut Release Titled Tennessee Time"

One look at 23 year old Andrew Combs’ musical influences will certainly open many eyes. He lists Guy Clark, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Harlan Howard, Hank Cochran, and Townes Van Zandt as among those who have shaped his roots.

To be honest, that is exactly what first attracted me to his initial 6 song debut release titled “Tennessee Time.” Anyone with that background and taste in music is worth my time to check out. I was extremely glad I did.

From the opening song titled “Hummingbird,” I was immediately reminded of the first time I heard Hayes Carll years ago on his initial “Flowers & Liquor” release. His Dallas, Texas roots truly shine in his lyrics and vocals. The phrasing and vocal inflections are outstanding.

As I sat down and spoke with Andrew, he was just going on break from his full time job in a Nashville, TN restaurant. You have got to love a guy who is not resting on his laurels and waiting for anything to be handed to him.

“Got to pay the rent somehow,” stated Andrew. “I hope to get the EP out and pick up a few paying gigs to help out, but right now it is just me and my girlfriend Heidi, who also provides background vocals and co-writing talents on one song.”

This EP has been in the works for just under 10 months, according to Combs. “We had to take what time we had between working to pay the bills and available studio time just to get everything together,” he said. “I am very proud of the final results, and happy we did it this way. It hopefully creates an initial buzz and gets to more people now as opposed to waiting for a full record. My goal is hoping it catches enough attention to either allow me to write songs for others initially to pay the bills, or tour a bit with a few paying gigs.”

Combs started out at his Dallas, Texas home playing in a high school band. “Yea, like most I had my first band in high school. We were called “Science & Progress”, mostly influenced by Radiohead, Ryan Adams, and stuff like that. I actually first started out playing the piano before picking up a guitar when I was about 14-15 years old. I then poured myself into music like Guy Clark, who is a lyrical genius.”

Out of the 6 songs which appear on the EP, 3 were written while on a 5 month trip to Ireland. “It was beautiful there, and allowed me to sit back and write “Hummingbird,” the title cut “Tennessee Time,” and “Won’t Catch Me.” My girlfriend Heidi Feek actually co-wrote “Wandering Heart” with me later. The song “Too Stoned To Cry” was actually about a couple friends of mine sort of molded into one. The 6th song, which is sort of a bonus track right now titled “Dark End of the Street” I truly enjoy because I love the Muscle Shoals vibe.”

The mixture of tempos in these 6 songs allows Combs to utilize his vocal inflections and acoustic guitar extremely well. It is easy to hear the musical influences he has mentioned throughout his music, while still creating a presence all his own, which is a very good thing.

As for the future, Combs is hopeful something will come up, but he has no plans of changing anything to create it. “I love acoustic music. Always have and always will. I will never change my music or lose my integrity in order to make a dollar. That is just not me.”

This CD is truly something every fan of Guy Clark or Townes Van Zandt should listen to. Combs has learned from these masters and created a great sound all his own. There are few artists today who know the rich Texas music history as well as this young 23 year old does. That in itself is a blessing, because he treasures the music, and the opportunities to follow in these footsteps. If this release is any indication, I have a feeling we will be hearing much more from him quite soon. - americanaroots.com


"SESAC’s Songwriters Round With Jim Lauderdale"

Jim Lauderdale debuted new songs at Friday’s Americana Music Conference. On stage in the Davidson Ballroom, Lauderdale sang a new song with the refrain “Don’t keep a good man down,” which he said he’d recently co-written with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. Lauderdale and Hunter collaborated on the recent Patchwork River album. The new song, which Lauderdale said he just finished recording in Nashville for a new album of bluegrass tunes co-written with Hunter, mined the traditional lyric “cruel wind and driving rain,” which some might also identify from Dead territory. Later on, Lauderdale played a song he had co-written with Elvis Costello, which he said would appear on Costello’s next record.

Also on the stage for SESAC’s songwriters round were the Carter Brothers, Tim and Dan, distant (though marketable) relations to A.P., Sarah and Mother Maybelle Carter (Tim and Dan’s great grandfather was A.P.’s first cousin.) The brothers played a nice blend of blues and bluegrass, with well-written, if predicable, songs. On the far end of the stage sat Webb Wilder, whose song “Wild Honey” seemed to borrow a hook from Van Morrison’s “Blue Money.” (Incidentally, Morrison also has a 1980 song called “Wild Honey.”) Nonetheless, Wilder produced the most dynamic stage presence of the group, with his songs equally blending pop, rock and rockabilly.

An interesting addition to the lineup came in the form of newcomer Andrew Combs (pictured with Jim Lauderdale), one of the most promising singers from Nashville. His version of “Tennessee Time” quieted the already-quiet room. A second song, a co-write with Big Machine Publishing’s Burton Collins, didn’t take off in quite the same way as “Tennessee.” But, for a newcomer on stage with veterans like Lauderdale and Wilder, Combs’ addition was no doubt a strong vote of confidence from the SESAC organization - American Songwriter Magazine


"Andrew Combs: Tennessee Time"

Tennessee Time
Andrew Combs
Andrew Combs Music
Rating: ???½?

Every once in awhile, a songwriter comes along who just seems a little more real. There are a lot of singer-songwriters these days in the Americana-ready vein, though, so Andrew Combs has his work cut out for him. They all seem bound to chase Justin Townes Earle, who cut a few records in Nashville with a ’50s-ish design, then split for New York (and life on the road). Which is what any young and talented Nashville artist probably should do.

Tennessee Time is a polished work reminiscent of the Nashville of the ‘70s; a time when Guy Clark played at the local folkie club, Exit/In, and Mickey Newbury mentored Kris Kristofferson.

That description of the album is a little misleading, though, since most of Combs’ circle of musicians and friends are still in the very early stages of making music in Nashville. Still, his band plays like a bunch of aces, adding the little dynamic flourishes, drum kicks and guitar punches that feel road-worn. The EP was recorded at The Castle, a music studio in Franklin, Tennessee, and it feels like some of the ghosts of the room filtered into the honky tonk piano on “Hummingbird” and the Willie Nelson-inspired harmonica on “Don’t Catch Me.” Nashville guitar wiz kid Jeremy Fetzer lays down some graceful Tele playing, offering the kind of licks that, to paraphrase a musician friend of mine, makes the old-timer session players in Nashville nervous.

The standout track is “Tennessee Time,” which finds the songwriter in foreign locales like Galway and Spain. But, with the old trope, of course; he’s still thinking about Tennessee. If the lyrics nudge on the familiar or cliché, they also have a kind of perfected simplicity and truth about them.

Cutting your teeth on living legends like Clark and Buddy Miller is a tough education. Nashville has changed a lot since the heyday of those guys. There are fewer real opportunities for old-school country songwriters. I don’t see too many Kristoffersons and Guy Clarks walking around Music Row, but maybe there are fewer characters too. For Andrew Combs, though, here’s hoping there’s room for one more. - American Songwriter Magazine


Discography

Tennessee Time EP (2010) - self-released
Big Bad Love 7-inch (2012) - Coin Records
Worried Man LP (2012) - Coin Records

Photos

Bio

Andrew Combs is a songwriter, guitarist, and singer who lives in Nashville. Originally from Dallas, Combs is inspired by the great tradition of Texas songwriting exemplified by Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and Mickey Newbury.

Following the success of the 2010 EP Tennessee Time, Coin Records released the 7-inch single “Big Bad Love” in May 2012 and Combs’ debut full-length album, Worried Man, on October 30, 2012.

The new album caps off a busy year for Combs who signed as a staff writer with Razor & Tie Music Publishing in July 2012. Combs was also tapped to play the 2012 Americana Music Association festival and has played and toured with Shovels & Rope, Jonny Corndawg, Caitlin Rose, Houndmouth, Robert Ellis, and Jason Isbell.

While Tennessee Time displayed a decidedly Nashville sound, Worried Man draws on a folk-rock sound galvanized by the reemergence of authentic American music coming from bands like L.A.’s Dawes. The album was co-produced by Mike Odmark and features guest appearances from Caitlin Rose and Nikki Lane, along with the core band of Jeremy Fetzer, Spencer Cullum, Jr., Michael Rinne, Micah Hulscher, and Jon Radford.

Equal parts rough-and-ready Chicago blues, Planet Waves-era Dylan, and vintage Nashville folk, Combs’ live show has often been described as Merle Haggard’s stripped-down country rock meets the tightly wound garage punk of Detroit’s The MC5. In short, they call it “country soul swag,” and you should too.

Combs is also part of a Nashville renaissance in country-folk music that stems from the slicked-up rural country gems of Justin Townes Earle and the close-knit indie folk-rock of Caitlin Rose. Searching through this puzzle you might also find an answer to why Jack White operates a ‘50s-inspired record shop and recording studio in Nashville and why the city has a buzzing punk scene. Maybe you’d even stumble into Combs and his band getting wild and fuzzy at a house party. Or maybe you’ll see Combs solo—on stage and alone as all hell—singing songs that have prompted middle-aged women to ask him, “Are you gonna be alright?”

Well, the Texas lad is just fine, thank you, and we think you’ll agree when you hear more of the sounds that are coming out of this East Nashville hotbed of dusty country soul, done up right.

“Just when you think you’ve heard the best of the up-and-coming Americana stars, along comes one whose music almost takes your breath away.”—Nancy Dunham, No Depression

“Worried Man works the tortured territory of a mind driven to hell and back by love gone bad.”—Jewly Hight, CMT Edge

“[Andrew Combs] embodies the best qualities of Nashville’s ever expanding talent pool”—Seal L. Maloney, American Songwriter

“Texas troubadour smirk, bluesy country melodies and a Southern-steeped lyricism that recalls Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark”—Marissa Moss, Nashville Scene