Luke Combs Gives Ringing Endorsement to Hill Country
Ever since releasing their debut album in May, the Zane Williams-led Texas music supergroup called Hill Country has been heavily touted by the listeners who’ve been clued into their self-titled record. It just the overall vibe the group captures that makes it one of the most enjoyable listening experiences released in 2020 so far. And apparently the biggest artist in country music at the moment agrees.
“I just can’t stop listening to this Album, it just strikes every chord that I want it to,” Luke Combs tweeted out randomly late Tuesday night (6/30). “The melodies, the harmonies, the instrumentation, and the songs. All just grade A. Y’all check this record out.”
Teaming up with with Zane is fellow singer and songwriter Paul Eason who is also known for playing guitar for Kevin Fowler, Houston drummer Lyndon Hughes, Austin bassist Sean Rodriguez, and multi-instrumentalist Andy Rogers who gives Hill Country the latitude to articulate just about whatever style of American music they choose, from classic rock to bluegrass, to country and folk. And they take full advantage of it.
Apparently, Luke Combs heard about the album at Saving Country Music. “Would love to get up man, been a fan of yours since 2012 or so,” Luke shouted out to Zane Williams on Wednesday (7/1). “Heard about the album through [Saving Country Music] review actually. Been on repeat since then.”
Hill Country is unafraid of being labeled copycats. They’re just here to let the good times flow. Name checking “Sweet Baby James” in the first song on the album called “River Roll” let’s you know they don’t care if you throw out James Taylor comparisons. That’s kind of the point. When they get to “Hey Susanna” later in the record, the Tom Petty influence is clearly palpable. And if that doesn’t sound like it’s up your alley as a country fan, wait until you get to the mountain music musings of “Evergreen” and “Dixie Darlin’” where the banjo is hot, and the secret weapon of this sextet—multi-part harmonies—makes its presence most known.
“Luke’s tweet was 100% unexpected,” Zane Williams tells Saving Country Music. “I’ve never met him and have no idea how he heard about us. The fact that he would be listening to a relatively unknown group and publicly acknowledge us indicates that he’s a genuine lover of music, and hasn’t lost his passion for discovering new stuff, which is cool to see from someone at his level.”
And just in case you’re wonder what the level of Luke Combs is, he’s yet to not have a single reach #1, with eight of them under his belt so far. His two full-length albums are regularly the #1 and #2 albums on the Billboard Country Albums chart. He’s undeniably the biggest country artist at the moment. A tweet like this from him is momentous.
“We self-produced this record with our own funds, and when all our gigs all got canceled due to COVID we had to scrap our plans to hire a publicist and radio promoter,” Zane Williams explains. “We just put the album on the internet and hoped that word would spread. Luke’s tweet was a big push to help get that ball rolling….maybe it really is all about the music at the end of the day. I’d certainly like to think so. Thank you Luke!”
Zane Williams already had a steady gig as a revered and supported artist in Texas Music scene for years, releasing seven records, touring extensively throughout the region. But the magic of Hill Country might be where Zane and his compadres found their calling. Luke Combs seems to think so.
July 1, 2020 @ 11:25 am
I’ve been listening to this since it came out in early April. It’s my favorite album this year.
July 1, 2020 @ 11:52 am
“Company Man” has been my jam for weeks now. It is everything a country song should be: relatable and witty.
Props to Luke Combs for reading SCM and tweeting out about Hill Country.
So what poster is Luke? I bet he is Honky. 🙂
July 1, 2020 @ 11:53 am
And now Luke is crediting your review.
Nice work. It’s a great record and deserves the notice.
July 1, 2020 @ 11:58 am
Yeah, Luke tweeted about finding the record after reading the review here right as I was finishing up this article. Maybe I’m not just shouting into the void after all.
July 2, 2020 @ 7:55 pm
Are you calling us the void? 🤣
July 2, 2020 @ 9:46 pm
I would bet most country loving artists follow this site closely…. . There really isn’t anything else out there 1/2 as good.
July 1, 2020 @ 12:22 pm
Nice job all around. Y’all are naturals. Keep going!
July 1, 2020 @ 1:14 pm
oh you big time now. LC just name dropped you. The record is going to blow up and so is this website.
July 1, 2020 @ 1:43 pm
Love this. Big names showing love to the smaller ones, lifting ’em up. I’ve had Hill Country on heavy rotation these past few weeks. Those vocal harmonies. The string pickin’. Ear worm after ear worm. Sounds like a good mix tape, with different genres mixed up.
“The Eagle” is a personal stand out for me lately. Feeling like you don’t recognize your own town anymore, like your way of life has changed forever, and simply wanting to pick up and get away from it all.
July 1, 2020 @ 8:15 pm
Yeah “The Eagle” is an exceptional song. I’ve been listening to it since Trigger mentioned them a few weeks ago. They have a song on YouTube called Okie Soldier also worth listening to…I don’t believe it’s on the album.
July 1, 2020 @ 2:01 pm
Hey Trig, we’re still waiting on The Boomswagglers review! Thanks, album of the year for me
July 1, 2020 @ 8:06 pm
What the hell, Trigger?
Just listened to several songs from The Boomswagglers, on Hungama. (I think that’s how you spell it)
Here, we have been looking for the real deal in country & whatever, & you guys have had it all along.
Throw it out there brother.
It is GOOD. Damn GOOD.
Don’t you worry,
We’ll kick the ass off of anyone who gets too pissy about it.
We have your back
July 1, 2020 @ 9:11 pm
And the drummer sounds pretty good on the tracks he gets to strut his stuff on!
July 2, 2020 @ 3:45 am
You’re not kidding he does!
Bill from Wisconsin
July 2, 2020 @ 5:26 am
Kinda sketchy looking, like they’d steal your lunch money and spend it on cheap booze and cigarettes…
July 10, 2020 @ 8:51 pm
This is good shit. Thanks for the recommendation.
July 1, 2020 @ 2:59 pm
Never been a big Zane Williams fan, don’t dislike him, just not my first choice. Didn’t have any expectations for this album but gave it a listen since Paul Eason is involved. Man, pretty solid album all the way around. ZW voice works well with the songs and arrangements. My only complaint, not enough Paul Eason on lead vocals. Glad to see this getting some attention.
July 1, 2020 @ 5:04 pm
I’m excited about their sound – a good mix – The Eagle and Adios strikes as solid songs. I will continue to follow. .
Bill from Wisconsin
July 1, 2020 @ 5:27 pm
That’s one of the best new songs I’ve heard in awhile!
July 1, 2020 @ 8:16 pm
Love the album a lot. But doesn’t everyone hear River Roll as too close to a Sweet Home Alabama riff?
Otherwise is some totally sweet guitar work.
July 2, 2020 @ 7:05 pm
Man, Hill Country strikes me as everything Midland wishes it could be, it is a really good album.
July 2, 2020 @ 7:58 pm
Grest parallel. I like this, but wish it had more bite.