Breakthrough country artist Luke Combs recently wowed fans at the Ryman with a surprise rendition of “Tennessee Whiskey.” The young hit-maker got quite the audience pop for trying his hand at an old classic made relevant again during Chris Stapleton’s meteoric rise to fame.
Of course, covering a song once sang by George Jones and David Allan Coe doesn’t mean Combs knows his stuff when it comes to country music history. However, his soulful rendition paints him as a hit-maker with the same ear for the past as Americana underdogs. Career-defining hit “Hurricane” teased that Combs can really belt out songs like an old-school country singer. He really proves it here, without the trappings of modern, radio-friendly production techniques.
In addition, this footage of Combs commandeering the stage furthers his salt of the Earth image. He looks like a half-dozen of your old college buddies, and he’s having Spring Break levels of fun every night. So far, fame hasn’t watered down Combs’ “regular guy” charm. That’d make him the musical equivalent of the cheap beer that’d make sense in this college dude analogy. Instead, Combs’ music still goes down like the actual Tennessee whiskey presumably in that red Solo cup.