Acclaimed musician, songwriter and performer Andrew Combs, released his brand new record 'All These Dreams', on the 26th January via Loose Music. 'All These Dreams' is the Texan-born troubadour's follow up to his much lauded début album Worried Man in 2012.
We caught up with Andrew a few hours before his Nottingham show where he was supporting Justin Townes Earle, we grabbed a coffee and a slice of carrot cake and chatted about dining with Kris Kristoffersson, his passion for fly-fishing and a distinct lack of sightseeing whilst in the UK, here's how we got on....
Welcome to the UK, when was the last time you toured over this way in the UK and Europe? Does it differ much to US gigs? How do you feel UK crowds react to your music?
I was over here last year - some time in October, I believe. The main difference in UK audiences is their attentiveness. Most US musicians will say that. They just seem to want to listen… which is great. The reaction and feedback from the crowd has been extremely gratifying. And I have to thank Justin Townes Earle for that on this tour. Its his audience, I’m just there trying to win them over. It seems to be working.
Have you managed to get out and about whilst Nottingham? Any tourist things you want to do over here?
No I haven’t unfortunately. I tell this to people often - there really isnt a whole lot of time to run around and sightsee when you tour UK/EU. You’re usually in a place for half a day and one night. Maybe one day in my career I’ll have the luxury of booking a tour based around a vacation.
What inspires you to keep writing music?
The fact that you can always write something better than the last.
Imagine you’re hosting a dinner party, please let me know which 3 guests you’ll be inviting (alive, dead or fictional)?
Larry Brown (fiction author), Kris Kristoffersson (songwriter), and my great uncle Jack (the funniest man to ever live)
Is there any music at the minute you can’t stop listening to? What current musicians are you currently ‘digging’?
I love the new Lucinda Williams double album. I also am still spinning the Bill Callahan record “Dream River”. It came out in 2013, but it still rings true to me.
Your new record ‘All These Dreams’ was released on January 26th, does it feel good to know that your new ‘baby’ is finally out there for people to enjoy?
Yes. Although it still isn’t out in the US.
You’re touring with Justin Townes Earle, how did this come about? Have you played alongside him before? How do you guys get along?
I’ve known Justin for a few years. I “tour managed” Caitlin Rose when she was opening for him in the states. I put tour managed in quotations because I really was just hanging out with buds. Anyways, I met Justin on that trip. He’s been nothing but nice to me. I think through knowing him and being on the same UK label, Loose Music, I got on this tour.
Your previous album (Worried Man) was released in 2012, did you approach the recording process differently when you were in the studio to lay down ‘All These Dreams’?
Nothing against “Worried Man”, but that record was more raw and in the moment, which was perfect for that time. This new album was much more thought out and arranged. We also went for a bigger sound, recording strings, keys, percussion, etc..
Which studio and producer did you use for the new record? Why this combo?
The record was engineered by Eric Masse at his studio, called The Casino. The producers were Jordan Lehning and Skylar Wilson. Why this combo? Cause they’re my good friends and they’re very very talented… which works well for me!
Tell us a fascinating fact about yourself, a family member and your hometown?
I enjoy fishing. Fly-fishing in particular. If I’m not touring, I’m probably fishing.
How was the show at the Brudenell Social Club? I hear it is like an old ‘working mans club’, what did you think of it? (explain that these were popular in Northern cities years ago and were regularly attended by elderly folk who wanted a good drink and a knees up!)
The Brudenell is great. It really is. I played there once with Caitlin Rose a year or so ago as well. Its just a nice vibe. Very different than anything in the USA. It seems as though the owner has a real love of music as well. The bands are treated like royalty and the sound engineer is top notch.
Your style has been likened to that of Ryan Adams and Crosby, Stills and Nash, how does that make you feel?
It's fine. I really don’t care what people compare my music to. I’ve never really had an opinion on that.
For the latest single ‘Foolin’, you explained that the song tackles “social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that allow us to create a public profile of the "coolest" version of ourselves, when what is portrayed might not be at all who we are” so your profile pic is one of you just waking up in the morning after a heavy session?
No no no... my new profile picture is me lifting weights with my shirt off ;)
Do you think that social media helps artists get their message out to the masses? I guess you’d rather have more people at your gigs clapping rather than sat on their backsides clicking ‘LIKE’?
Yeah… I mean, the social media world has changed how artists can market themselves. It can be a great tool if utilized correctly. Unfortunately, I just don’t really enjoy doing it. I’d rather be doing ANYTHING else than trying to promote a show on twitter or facebook.
I see that you’re playing a SOLD OUT GIG at the Union Chapel in London on Feb 6th, I see that Evan Dando (The Lemonheads) is playing there at the end of February, are you a fan of his music?
Yeah I like Evan Dando. Fun fact - my lawyer was in the Lemonheads.
Are you planning any UK festivals for 2015? If so, are any confirmed and can we share the news?
Not yet. But hopefully. If they ask, I’ll be here!
We'd like to thank Andrew for taking the time out to chat to us and we wish him every success with his new album 'All These Dreams' which is available to buy in the UK now (link below).