It is well-trodden ground to begin a review of an American country artist with something along the lines of ‘it’s fair to say that the UK doesn’t quite get Country music’. This is a bit of a disservice to the loyal folk up and down our fair isle who embrace the genre with something approaching obsession.
It’s this group of loyalists who turned up at Manchester’s Night & Day Café, to witness one of the most promising Country artists in recent years.
Andrew Combs voice is like a dream. He hits the high, low and in between – to quote Townes Van Zandt – with absolute ease. It’s this voice that carries the show on its way, with soaring confidence.
Many of Combs’ recent tracks have been written with the backing of a band and it must be difficult for artists to transfer that energy to one acoustic guitar. Combs himself even lamented his inability to afford to cover the costs of bringing a few guys along for the ride, but he needn’t have worried.
This was a performance of confidence and maturity, featuring a string of new tracks that will appear on Combs’ next record – which is tentatively due for release in March next year.
Stand out tracks included Foolin’, new track Lorelei and Suwannee County – the last of which got a rousing reception and led to Combs joking that he thought ‘only his mum liked that one’.
By the end, a few heckles from an overly exuberant, and heavily inebriated, gentleman couldn’t dampen what had been a very satisfying and endearing performance.