Luke Combs’ Quarantine Hobby: a Bluegrass Album
Luke Combs' new song was written and recorded for a bluegrass album that's been put on ice, for now. The singer reveals that he spent part of 2020 on a side project.
"The Great Divide" was released on Monday (Feb. 1). It features Billy Strings, a bluegrass guitarist, and was written in June 2020 by the pair plus Wyatt Durrette. Charlie Worsham also plays several instruments on the recording.
"I wrote a bunch of bluegrass songs in June of this last year and I had plans to write a bunch more," Combs says in a video on social media, "and as COVID continued to get worse around the holidays I wasn't able to have a lot of those ... in-person writes."
Now, as 2021 has begun, Combs says he has turned his attention to his third studio album. That means the bluegrass project — an album he's always wanted to record — is on the back-burner. The message of "The Great Divide" fits the moment however, so he chose to release it digitally across various platforms.
Sonically, the new song is quite a pivot from the mainstream country he's produced for his first two studio albums and their respective deluxe versions. All but one of the songs he's released to radio have spent multiple weeks at No. 1, including "Better Together," which tops airplay charts currently as another song called "Forever After All" enters the Billboard Country Airplay chart.
What You See Is What You Get (2019) is Combs' most recent studio album. He dropped the deluxe version of the album one year later. Perhaps as much as any artist, the 30-year-old has released music on his own social media ahead of official release, but nothing he's offered to date sounds like "The Great Divide," his first outward reflection on the society we live in.