When rootsy Nashville singer-songwriter Andrew Combs sat down to write his soul-searching new song "Foolin'," he looked not to country music's past traditions but to a decidedly modern phenomenon instead — Facebook.
"It's inspired by social media, the digital age we live in and these social media websites that allow us to paint a picture of who we want to be. We can present what other people think is cool, which might actually not be who we are as a person," Combs tells Rolling Stone Country. "I find that somewhat sad but fascinating."
"Foolin'" premieres today on Rolling Stone Country (listen below) and is the first single from Combs' upcoming second album, All These Dreams, due March 3rd. Combs, a Texas native who relocated to Nashville nearly 10 years ago, enlisted the duo Steelism — featured in the fall edition of our Artists You Need to Know — to play on the song and all but one of the album's 11 tracks. With "Foolin'," the result is a shimmering, Orbison-like arrangement.
Combs, who heads overseas in mid-January for a tour with Justin Townes Earle, says the growing Nashville scene — the one outside the commercial machinery of Music Row — has helped foster his songwriting.
"It has become so open to so many different types of music that I don't find myself alienated at all. I grew up listening to what my parents played: Simon and Garfunkel, Jackson Browne, Harry Nilsson. Then I got into Kris Kristofferson, Mickey Newbury, Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt. The majority of them all came through Nashville and gave it a shot," he says. "That was always my goal, to come to Nashville and write songs. I feel like people are hungry for actual songs and are fed up with the mediocrity that's been handed them."
Following the tour with Justin Townes Earle, Combs will return to the U.S. for an appearance at the Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California.