‎Where the Wild Things Are – Song by Luke Combs

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    When Luke Combs first burst onto the mainstream radar with his 2017 album This One’s for You, country fans found themselves wondering who this North Carolina kid with the big voice was. Four albums in, that young hopeful playing juke joints and vying for opening slots is now a full-blown country star, as well as a father. Following up 2022’s Growin’ Up, Gettin’ Old finds Combs leaning into both new roles, showing that he’s the kind of artist who isn’t content to stick with any tried-and-true formula. Accordingly, Gettin’ Old has a broader, bigger sound, one that incorporates more of the rock and soul Combs hinted at on earlier projects. Combs considers Gettin’ Old to be the start of a new era in his career, one that finds both his sound and songs maturing.

    “Growin’ Up was the last record of the tail end of my career, at that point of what my sound used to be and where it’s evolving to,” Combs tells Apple Music. “We really did shift our focus, production-wise, as soon as that record came out. We knew we wanted this one to sound different.” The album’s centerpiece is “My Song Will Never Die,” on which Combs addresses his own mortality while celebrating the legacy and timelessness of great songs. Combs surprises with a stirring take on Tracy Chapman’s beloved “Fast Car,” which he describes as “probably [his] first favorite song ever.” And on standout “Fox in the Henhouse,” which he originally wrote as a bluegrass number, Combs flexes his rock muscles, for a tune that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser on the road. Below, Combs shares insight into several key tracks on Gettin’ Old.

    “Joe”
    “I was at the Opry, and it was during COVID when I was playing the Opry when nobody was there. It was empty. It was just me and Craig Morgan. And I sat down and my creative guy, Zach, was there, and they were like, ‘What’s the name of this song or whatever?’ And he told him it was ‘The Bottle.’ And then when I played it, I said it was called ‘Joe’ because I just wanted it to jump off the page. And that was just the name that was in the song when Erik Dylan sent it to me. It was like, ‘I got a job. My name’s Joe.’ That was the first line of the song. And so I just thought it would make people see the title and go, ‘Well, guys, what is that song about?’ I wanted people to listen to it and have to listen to it, because I think it does have a powerful message.”

    “My Song Will Never Die”
    “When I get onstage and sing these songs, I really want to sing with conviction. And I want people to believe what I’m saying because it’s the truth. And these songs are me, and I’m very passionate about them and the way that they make me feel. I want people to know that they’re really seeing me. I’m not trying to sell you a crock of shit. I think if I can accomplish both those things at the same time—which is write, record, and release music that I love, and then have people listening to music that they love and that be the same thing—then we’re doing the right thing.”

    “Fast Car”
    “You want to just be mega-respectful of the song. That’s why, in that song, it’s like, ‘Work in the market as a checkout girl.’ I didn’t change that in my version. I really want to just do the original version of the song. It’s weird, because you’re doing a cover of it and you say, ‘I don’t want to make it my own, because I just really want to shine a light on the original version.’ Because I think there’s so many people that maybe know that song or it would be familiar to them, but they really don’t know anything about it. When I recorded this, literally the engineer in there asked me who I wrote that song with.”

    “5 Leaf Clover”
    “That came to be at the tail end of COVID. And we were talking about trying to figure out how we were going to go back on tour. I was just riding around my place with my buddy Newdy, and I have a clover field up on this hill. I must have went and rode around on the Polaris twice a day, probably, just to have something to do. So we ended up in that clover field in the Polaris and turned it off. And we were just sitting out there bullshitting or whatever, talking about whatever. And I just started looking around for four-leaf clovers, and I found one. And I was like, ‘Oh man, that’s cool. Find one.’ And then Newdy found a five-leaf clover. So I just wrote ‘five-leaf clover’ in my phone because I was like, ‘Man, how lucky do you have to be to find a five-leaf clover?’”

    “Fox in the Henhouse”
    “[Dierks Bentley’s Up on the Ridge], ever since I heard it, I was like, ‘Man, if I ever do get to make records one day, if I ever have the chance, I want to do a bluegrass record.’ And so I started writing that record over COVID in 2020, 2021. And that was actually one of the songs I wrote for the bluegrass record. The work tape is me and a guitar and dobro. When we went to cut this record, we just loved that song, and I was like, ‘Let’s just see what we can do with it and not make it bluegrass at all.’ And it ended up kind of having this Black Crowes thing going on. I wouldn’t really even call it a country song at all. I mean, it’s just a rock song, really.”



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