Pop Luke Combs’ The Prequel EP onto your device and enjoy a cracking 16 minutes.
Released in anticipation of new music later in the year, North Carolina native Combs has released this studio-recorded, much-requested collection of songs that Combs and fans enjoy performed live, along with new track, Beer Never Broke My Heart.
An outstanding performer, whether at an intimate CMA Songwriter’s set demonstrating vulnerability alongside his prowess, or raising hell on stage at London’s 02 arena, seamlessly performing his own brand of honky tonk, in between Alan Jackson and Brooks and Dunn covers, the UK has been fortunate enough to enjoy Combs on his meteoric, and well-deserved, rise to a run of Number Ones and membership to the Grand Ole Opry. I don’t know if we’ll be big enough to host a return visit; he owned the 50k capacity Nissan Stadium at this year’s CMA Fest.
One of the most popular songs of that set was the first track on the EP, Beer Never Broke My Heart, with its catchy, and typical, lyrical Combs hook, “long neck, ice cold beer never broke my heart”. Upbeat and fun, with people hollering this across the Nashville sky, this song is an instant classic.
The second track slows us down for story time, revealing a family history that revolves around a kitchen appliance – the Refrigerator Door. As far as titles go, how country is that? Imaginative and humble, the story that unfolds is one from childhood to adulthood as mementoes like a magnet, save the date cards and postcards reveal the story.
Third track, and my favourite, Even Though I’m Leaving deepens the family love, showcasing a vulnerable narrative as first a small child seeks reassurance from his father, to the grown man receiving a different kind of wisdom. The lyrics of a young man heading on a plane harkens me back to an October night at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire, as Combs shared his amazement of travelling overseas, despite people in his past suggesting it wouldn’t be possible. Thank you, Combs, for making it possible (y’all come on back now).
We’re back to upbeat with Lovin’ on You offering a new relationship celebration with the big vocals and deft lyricism that is stand out in Combs’ ability as a musician, as an entertainer.
The EP ends with a ballad in Moon over Mexico, delving deeper into an obvious love for someone to share the rest of your life with.
I can’t wait to see where Combs’ journey will take him next. But I’m definitely on the honky tonk highway with him; hop aboard. Next stop: Nissan Stadium?