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Views and opinions: Combs’ style hearkens back to classic country

I’ve got one thing to say about singer/songwriter Luke Combs; If you don’t like him, you don’t like country music.

I could leave it right there and go down to the creek and cool off with a jug of sweet tea, but I need to fill a few paragraphs here, or my editor gets a little annoyed with me. And the last thing I want to do is annoy my editor!

Besides “country,” the next thing I have to call Combs is “record-breaking.” His debut album spent 37 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. That’s more than any other album in a calendar year.

From that debut This One’s for You album, the first five singles hit No. 1, as well. Combs was the first to do that. Adding to all that, his latest album is breaking records.

According to Billboard, all five tracks from the EP are currently in its Hot Country Songs Top 25, a feat not accomplished by any artist in 60 years since Johnny Cash in 1959. Additionally, Combs has achieved the largest streaming week ever for a country artist.

He has a big, powerful voice that is all country. He has a playlist that is all country. He has a look that is all country. But he has an appeal that reaches beyond the country genre. And he hasn’t even turned 30 yet.

It is exciting, to me, to find such a young talent carrying on the tradition of good country music. But Combs is doing it and has the potential to enjoy this success for decades to come.

He has a maturity to his voice that would lead you to believe he is older. My mama would say he has an old soul. Whatever the case, his sound seems to resonate with all ages.

And if you haven’t seen this guy in concert, don’t worry – his tour schedule is unbelievable. It doesn’t look as though there are going to be too many places he’ll miss.

Oh, and by the way – Combs was recently invited to be the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. It would seem he has the country music world by the tail, and from where I’m sitting, he isn’t likely to be letting go anytime soon.


Bluegrass Johnson comes from a long line of country music performers and enjoys a passion for the rhythm and melody. From the hills of Kentucky, he will offer his opinions on a variety of music. Readers with questions or comments may write to Johnson in care of this publication.