Nashville singer-songwriter Andrew Combs released his album All These Dreams in March 2015. Combs first gave fans a taste of his music with the release of his Tennessee Time EP in 2010. Since that EP’s release, Combs signed a publishing deal with Razor & Tie n 2012 and later that same year he released debut album Worried Man as a digital only release. More recently he opened for country star Kacey Musgraves on her headline tour and in March Combs will be coming to the UK to perform as part of the line-up for C2C: Country to Country 2016.
Having missed the boat the first time round, I recently discovered Combs and decided to give his critically acclaimed 2015 album All These Dreams a listen. I’m pleased to report that it was a wise decision as All These Dreams is an album that combines folk, Americana and country sensibilities positioning Combs as an artist that defies being pigeonholed to one particular genre. The album opens with the dreamy Rainy Day Song that showcases the beautiful fragility of Combs’ voice accompanied by a gentle acoustic riff and light beat. It starts the album off on a captivating vote and invites you to get to know Combs and his music better with the 11 tracks features on the album.
The album’s lead single Foolin’ is one of the standouts on the record. It picks up the tempo, something happens rarely across All These Dreams, and fleshes Combs’ sound out with a full band. The driving beat of the track marks it out as an obvious single choice and easily the most commercial of the songs on the record. Lyrically the track explores the idea of being completely lost whilst giving off the impression that you know exactly what you’re doing; who hasn’t been in that situation at some point in life?
Elsewhere on the record Combs goes acoustic for the beautiful Strange Bird, piano ballad In The Name of You sees Combs struggling to vocalise his feelings of love, and Slow Road to Jesus explores the idea of travelling down a path to peace whilst making mistakes (and plenty of them) along the way. The moody Month of Bad Habits, which deals with the end of a relationship, is a definite highlight as is the Ray Orbison channelling Long Gone Lately where Combs asks a lover ‘has your love forgotten me?’
All These Dreams is a listen that rewards with every listen. Combs’ lyrics are observational, honest and at times heartbreakingly raw. He commands you ears in the tradition of a good country music storyteller and pulls you in with melodies that span several genres. His vocal is consistently appealing and it’s clear oozes natural talent. All These Dreams is a cohesive, enjoyable and richly varied album that offers something away from the modern country mainstream.
Track listing: 1. Rainy Day Song 2. Nothing To Lose 3. Foolin’ 4. Strange Bird 5. Pearl 6. Long Gone Lately 7. In The Name Of You 8. All These Dreams 9. Slow Road To Jesus 10. Month Of Bad Habits 11. Suwannee County Record Company: Loose Music Release Date: 26th January 2015