Andrew Combs On Texas Country, ‘All These Dreams’ and Moving To The Main Stage – Interview
We were lucky enough to be front and centre during the press conferences at the recent C2C Festival in London. Andrew Combs stopped by to talk about his life growing up, Texas country, his favourite musicians, Kacey Musgraves, his album ‘All These Dreams’, and returning to the UK to play on the big stage. You can read what went down below.
RW Publicity: Would you mind starting by just saying a little bit about yourself? People are always interested in influences and that sort of thing.
Andrew: Okay. Well, I was born in Dallas, Texas, I’ve been in Nashville for going on 11 years now. Influences… I grew up with my parents’ record collection, which was kind of the 70s folk, California country stuff. Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, The Eagles, that kind of stuff. And then I got into the country lyrics growing up in Texas, and I attached myself to Guy Clark, and Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and all the great songwriting heroes. And that’s why I went to Nashville, to follow in their footsteps, because they all went from Texas to Nashville. Some left; but they all at least passed through. So I figured I better give it a try!
RW Publicity: Sometimes people here are quite cynical, and they think that Nashville, it’s like people go into the office and write songs… and I guess it can be like that.
Andrew: It can!
RW Publicity: () You probably don’t do co-writing things much?referencing Ashley Monroe writing with the aforementioned Guy Clark
Andrew: I do, about half and half I’d say. I write for a publishing company back home, which pays my bills. I don’t know, I go in waves of wanting to co-write and wanting to just write by myself. Right now, I just wanna write by myself.
Think Country: I don’t know whether it’s because you come from Texas, but you’re always talked about as Texas Country. Is that a separate thing? It’s very new to us in the UK, so is Texas Country a slightly different thing than we hear about?
Andrew: In what you’re seeing with the C2C, yes. There is a whole scene in Texas where people only tour in Texas, 365 days a year. That’s not even what I do, when I refer to the Texas songwriters I’m talking about the 70s really, like I said, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson – those kind of people. But there is a whole separate Texas country scene right now that’s going on.
Sounds Like Nashville: I noticed you’re playing the Nashville July 4 celebration, so it seems like you’re starting to get out there a little more, which is great. With Eric [Church] choosing you to be on this line-up, what does that mean to you?th
Andrew: Well I’m grateful for it. It was just as much of a surprise for me as it was for you guys that I’m a part of this. Like I said yesterday, someone asked me that same question basically, and I said “Only a fool would have turned it down.” I’m really glad to be here. We just toured around Europe with Eric pre- the C2C, and it was a great time. It was a good fit.
UKcountrymusic.net: This is your return to the UK. How has previously the reception from fans to your music been from the US?
Andrew: Better over here! The audience in terms of live shows over here is much more respectful, I guess you’d say. They tend to get what I’m doing. It would be hard for me to do this kind of bill in the States, because I’m not on country radio back home. People are very accepting of the kind of left of centre stuff over here, and that’s great for me.
RW Publicity: () Do you know Kacey Musgraves?referencing the line-up
Andrew: Yeah, she’s actually my neighbour! (laughter) She’s been a champion of my music since the record came out, it’s been great. We’ve been doing some dates with her as well, back home.
Think Country: You’ve not had anything out on the radio at the moment in America, but over here we can your tunes, especially on our internet radio stations. If we were introducing your music to somebody, is there a key song from your album that you would say, that’s the one that tells us most about you, and what your message is?
Andrew: The most radio-friendly song would be the third song, called ‘Foolin’’. And then my personal favourite is number two, called ‘Nothing To Lose’. It’s more of a Harry Nilsson, Glen Campbell kind of 70s sound. ‘Foolin’’ is the one, if there has been any radio play back home – not on country radio, but on other types of radio formats – it’s been ‘Foolin’’.
Country Music People: What is it about Texas that produces so many good songwriters?
Andrew: Boy, I don’t know! I wish I knew. There’s something in the water. I think it has to do with… we grew up with a kind of – for lack of a better word – bullshit. You can tell a story and bullshit a little bit, and that translates into writing songs. There’s no rules in Texas. I mean, there are! But for songwriting. I don’t know, I’ve wrestled with that question before, but all my favourites come from there. West Texas has produced a lot of great writers, I mean Buddy Holly, one of the biggest.
How have you found this festival?
Andrew: It’s great, I mean last time I played London I played Hoxton Square Bar & Grill to 75 people. It’s a big difference!