“One of Nashville’s most poetically gifted young singer-songwriters.” NPR Music.
Andrew Combs is one of Cosmic American Music favourites and with him tonight is another exciting new Nashville musician.
Andrew has a new EP, 5 Covers & A Song (New West Records), which showcases songs that have had an impact on him at different points in his life. Songs by The Strokes and Radiohead are a nostalgic look back at teenage self discovery, while Loudon Wainwright III’s “4 x 10” represents a more current perspective, reflecting on his life now as a husband and father.
The idea for the EP evolved as a setting to recognize some of his favorite songwriters. “We all know that Blake Mills is a tremendous guitar player, but it’s his knack for songwriting and arranging that keeps me coming back to his records. Lucinda is the queen of songwriting in my book. No one else can portray a picture like her. She’s up there with Tom Waits, Townes and Guy Clark when it comes to words. I wanted a love song on the EP — something that came from a feeling of adoration. It’s a simple bed of music that her words dance on, but the build of the tune helps portray the yearning for someone. I couldn’t be happier with this version. I’d like to think Lucinda would enjoy it as well.”
A Dallas native now living near the same Nashville airport immortalized in the opening sequence of Robert Altman’s country music odyssey, Andrew Combs is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and heir to that 1975 film’s idea of the Nashville troubadour as a kind of musical monk. As a songwriter, Combs relies on meditative restraint rather than showy insistence to paint his canvases, a technique commensurate with his idea of nature as an overflowing spiritual wellspring. Combs refines the vulnerable vagabond persona he mastered on All These Dreams while pushing it beyond those boundaries, into a more pastoral realm aligned with artists like Nick Drake and Tim Buckley. The idea of the artist’s creative life as an ecosystem – one just as in need of cultivation and care as our own imperiled world – informs much of Canyons Of My Mind.
CHARLIE WHITTEN (USA)
Nashville-based songwriter and musician Charlie Whitten has spent his fair share of time in the role of sideman, playing with artists like Andrew Combs, Becca Mancari, and Molly Parden. He’s a solo artist, too, though, having released his solo debut album Dreaming in 2012 and a follow-up, Hey Love, in 2014.
Whitten is currently preparing to release a new EP, Playwright. The EP’s title track is a fitting introduction to the four-song collection, showcasing Whitten’s guitar chops, velvety vocals, and ruminative songwriting.