The second album from Nashville-based artist Andrew Combs proves that there is still plenty of worthwhile country music out there
he backlash against the backlash appears to be in full swing. For too long now the country music scene has been home for beer swigging good time guys, sneering at the great music of the past. Who needs The Shelter Of Your Eyes when you have a Honky Tonk Badonkadonk to occupy your mind? Thankfully, a steady stream of new artists are recording albums of timeless country which both harks back to better days whilst still meaning something in 2015. Andrew Combs is certainly part of this reaction and his second album All These Dreams is his latest marker.
The track which best demonstrates Combs’ ability to match classic songwriting with modern themes is Foolin’. It is a shimmering number fit for Roy Orbison but is lyrically concerned with how social media provides everyone with a shield to hide behind. The Big O’s influence can be heard throughout the album, especially on Long Gone Lately and All These Dreams.
Assisting Combs’ on all but one of the tracks are the instrumental duo Steelism. Spencer Cullum Jr’s pedal-steel and Jeremy Fetzer’s guitar weave mesmerising patterns throughout, encapsulating loneliness on Rainy Day Song and embellishing the fun on Strange Bird. This supreme musicianship is the perfect partner to Combs’ mournful twang, and immaculate whistle.
All These Dreams will appeal to fans of Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt but it should also act as an entry point for anyone hoping to hear what authentic country music sounds like.
Verdict: Timeless country for the modern age.