Andrew Combs (USA)

Sun 25th August 2024

Doors 6pm, on stage 7pm. All seated

One of our finds from the Americanafest in Nashville, we’ve been waiting to get this wonderful singer and songwriter to TLR for some time. Here he is!

Andrew Combs

Combs first began garnering national attention for his music with the release of ‘Worried Man,’ his acclaimed 2012 debut. The record, which received the deluxe reissue treatment this year, earned Combs a slot at the iconic Newport Folk Festival alongside dates with Shovels & Rope and Houndmouth, and it prompted American Songwriter to proclaim that “[as far as] first albums go, it’ll be tough to beat this as one of the year’s finest.”

Combs followed it up in 2015 with the similarly well-received ‘All These Dreams,’ which landed him performances with Kacey Musgraves and Eric Church among others, and then signed to New West Records in 2017 for his breakout third album, ‘Canyons Of My Mind.’ Songs from that record racked up more than 15 million streams on Spotify and prompted raves from Rolling Stone to NPR, who hailed him as “one of Nashville's most poetically gifted young singer-songwriters.”

A Dallas native, Combs has called Nashville home since 2006, but when it came time to record ‘Ideal Man,’ he opted for a change, heading to Jupiter Recordings in Brooklyn, where he and his bandmates—drummer Dom Billet and multi-instrumentalist Jerry Bernhardt—cut the album in a series of short bursts with Cohen both playing guitar and producing.

Combs worked with some of his favorite writers on the album, including Dylan LeBlanc, Jeff Trott, Joe Henry, and Kenny Childers, but the stories he tells here are deeply personal and remarkably vulnerable. The heartrending ‘Firestarter’ watches helplessly as a friend self-destructs, and the tender ‘Golden’ finds Combs balancing the beauty of witnessing his daughter grow up with the wistfulness of knowing that she can’t stay a child forever. It’s perhaps ‘Born Without A Clue,’ though, that best captures the emotional push and pull at play on the album.

“That song’s about being a dad, certainly, but I also think it’s about all of us,” says Combs. “I’m a hopeful, positive person, and I don’t like to dwell too long on the negative, but it’s so in our faces. There’s no way not to be apprehensive of the world around you right now.”

A sense of danger and violence underlies the entire record, much as it does the entire country, but it only serves to make the moments of beauty and connection here that much more poignant. Life is short and the clock is ticking. Andrew Combs doesn’t plan to waste a second.

‘Combs’s developmental arc as a songwriter continues to soar, and this deep, deep reflection suits him to a tee’ – Mojo 4 stars

‘Combs has never taken the expected route, preferring to try something different with each new record, and his lates, Sundays, is another entirely new chapter’ – No Depression