Live music is back, and with the return of country concerts comes the return of artists trying out brand-new songs onstage. Case in point: Luke Combs tested out a fun, carefree, throwback tune called “Good Ol’ Days” during his set at Carolina County Music Fest, which took place in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on June 10-13.
“We were young, we were free / Didn’t have a thing that we didn’t need,” Combs sings in the chorus alongside chugging, Southern rock-inflected guitars. “… Back when we knew everything / Back in the good ol’ days …”
Elsewhere, the lyrics shout out Ferris wheels, small-town summer nights and other staples of growing up in the South. It’s a classic throwback, nostalgic country anthem: a cornerstone of the genre, but not one that Combs has explored all that much in his own discography thus far.
While Combs may have been off the road for the past year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that hasn’t prevented him from his long-held habit of sharing unreleased music with fans. On the Grand Ole Opry stage, he shared a gripping new ballad called “Joe,” which had been written just days prior.
Both of Combs’ recently shared new songs find the singer expanding his stylistic territory in small, but satisfying steps: He leans into his carefree rocker side on “Good Ol’ Days,” while “Joe” proves that the singer can pull off a complex emotional ballad as easily as he can rock a beer-drinkin’ anthem.
He’s also hinted that he might be throwing a rootsy curveball at fans in the near future, sharing that he’s been working on a bluegrass album as a side project. Fans have already heard Combs’ bluegrass-flavored “The Great Divide,” a collaboration with Billy Strings that pivots from his usual radio-ready, mainstream country sound.
Also included in the string of new songs Combs has debuted in recent months is “Growin’ Up and Gettin’ Old,” which he shared in February as part of a live show at Daytona International Speedway’s NASCAR season-opening race.