by Alison Bonaguro
Jamie “JD” Davis is Luke Combs’ guitar tech. But Davis is also a guitar player, a vocalist and a songwriter. He is all the things. In fact, Davis told me that he’s been writing songs for 20 years, but that this song — “My Kinda Folk” — is his first cut with a major label artist. So it shouldn’t really come as that much of a surprise to find out that one of Combs’ latest songs originated with Davis.
“’My Kinda Folk’ is an idea that, actually, my guitar tech brought to me,” Combs said in a recent radio interview. “He had started it with my friend Dan Isbell and sent it my way. Him and Dan came out here with one of my utility players, Dustin Nunley, and Ray Fulcher was living down the street at that time so he walked up. The five of us finished the song, and it’s probably one of my favorite songs that we’ve ever done.” (Davis, Isbell and Nunley are also part of the band Jamie Davis & Soul Gravy. They are on iTunes.)
Now that Combs’ deluxe album What You See Ain’t Always What You Get has just been released, he also took the time to break down other tracks in his interview with Radio.com:
“Better Together” was written in the mountains of North Carolina three years ago with songwriters Dan Isbell and Randy Montana. “We started there, people had always loved it. We ended up recording it and going with a very stripped down production of just me and a piano and I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out,” Combs said.
“Cold As You”
“’Cold As You,’ I wrote this with two of the same guys I wrote ’Beer Never Broke My Heart’ with. I think it’s very similar. The idea was actually Shane Minor’s idea, he’s a really awesome guy and was willing to let me and Jonathan (Singleton) and Randy (Montana) kind of take a little bit of a start,” Combs shared, “that he had and run with it. Super pumped that I have another kick-ass song with two of my favorite guys and one of my new buddies, Shane Minor.”
“Forever After All”
“’Forever After All’ is the first song that I wrote in my house in Tennessee. I wrote it with Rob Williford and Drew Parker. It’s one of those songs that we’ve been trying to hold back for a long time and not play. We knew how much we loved it and how much we thought people would like it,” he said, “so I’m glad that everybody’s finally gonna get a chance to hear it. It’s just kind of a continuance of the love story that you hear in ’Beautiful Crazy’ and ’Better Together.’”
“The Other Guy”
“’The Other Guy’ was a song that I wrote probably three and a half years ago with Brendon Kinney and Rob Williford. When it came down to make this ’Deluxe,’ it was just a song that I had always thought was great and it had always just been in this kind of state of limbo where somebody was gonna do it,” Combs explained. “So, I figured I would just do it.”
“’Without You’ is a song that I wrote in the mountains of North Carolina with Wyatt Durrett and Dan Isbell. I always wanted to — along with ’This One’s For You’ — have a song that lets everyone know how appreciative I am of where I am: The first verse is about my parents, and the second verse is about my wife, and the third verse is about you, the fans,” he said.
Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.