Andrew Combs – All These Dreams
Loose Music/Thirty Tigers
That difficult second album proves easy for gifted singer-songwriter.
Andrew Combs 2012 debut album WORRIED MAN caught my attention and sounded like the Nashville based songwriter had a half-decent career ahead of him; but nothing prepared me for this collection of songs, that bely his relative youth.
In fairness the first few times I played ALL THESE DREAMS I struggled to get a handle on where he was coming from; even though my wife instantly liked it. Then, during a motorway car journey when I witnessed a glorious Winter sunset…BINGO…..it hit me like a mallet; the album reminds me of those early Harry Nilsson albums – great lyrics, beautiful melodies, softly swooping strings and a voice that sounds like it’s been rolled in tobacco and honey.
Rainy Day Song which opens the album sounds like the work of a 20 year man on Music Row; with a story, melody and a timeless chorus that will make you stop what you’re doing, turn the lights down low and get comfortable for a journey into the past.
ALL THESE DREAMS is old fashioned in as much as it should be listened to as an ‘album’ rather than just cherry-picking tracks off an internet server; even if songs like the beautiful Pearl and Month Of Bad Habits which will melt your heart like an icicle in the Spring sunshine; stand out like beacons in the fog.
Top Nashville producers Jordan Lehning and Skylar Wilson are worth every penny as they support Comb’s exquisite voice with some glorious guitar picking from Jeremy Fetzer and the legendary pedal-steel player Spencer Cullum Jr’s licks are subtle throughout, but shadow everything Combs sings in a way I’ve not heard before.
If you twist my arm for a favourite song it would have to be the sweet but never saccharine Strange Bird, not least because it includes a whistling solo and you’ve got to love anybody who can whistle in tune.
Released UK January 26th
Released US March 3rd