Catch Andrew Combs with Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers this weekend in Asheville.

If you take a look at the list of 21 country artists that Rolling Stone suggested you see at last month’s SXSW extravaganza in Austin, Texas, you’ll find Andrew Combs at the top.

I don’t think the writers at Rolling Stone tossed him on top because they went with ABC order, either.

Texas born and now Nashville based, the twenty-something Combs has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the forefront of the latest generation of countryish singer-songwriters. His sophomore record, All These Dreams, was released last month and has garnered critical acclaim from the likes of NPR, No Depression, and The Boston Globe.

That acclaim is justified. All These Dreams is a tremendous collection of witty, introspective songs that brings to mind names like Prine, Clark, and Kristofferson.

I recently caught up with Andrew to chat about songwriting and the new record.

BRO – What’s the first song you remember writing?

AC – Hmmm. Good question. The first song I remember writing that was decent was one called “It’s What You Need.” I wrote it in high school when a girl broke my heart. Naturally, it was extremely angsty. Somewhere my dad has an archive of songs I wrote during that time of my life. I’d like to find out where this stash is and burn any evidence of them.

BRO – For you, what comes first – the lyric or the melody?

AC – Either. I have no set formula or rules as to how I go about songwriting. I will say, though, my favorite is writing off a good title.

BRO – We are featuring “Foolin'” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?

AC – I wrote that song with my buddy Ian Fitchuk, who played drums on the record. It’s kind of an observation on society’s addiction to social media. I find it fascinating, and sad at the same time, how we have to have the ability to portray a “cooler” version of ourselves to the world, when we many not be anything like that in real life.

BRO – Who is your favorite songwriter in Nashville right now?

AC – Guy Clark forever, for always, for certain. In my closer circle of peers, I’d say Erin Rae, Jonny Fritz, and Robert Ellis are always writing new and interesting songs.

BRO – Is there a cover tune out there that even money can’t buy?

AC – If you give me a $100 bill to play a song, I’ll do my damndest to play it. I have to warn you, though, that it’s not going to be pretty. I have only had about three or four cover songs in my repertoire ever.

BRO – Today is tax day. Any special message for the I.R.S.?

AC – What’s that stand for? Intimate Real Sex?

You can be sure that Andrew Combs will be featuring tunes from his latest release, All These Dreams, when he takes the stage on Saturday night at New Mountain in Asheville. Doors for this show open at 10:00. Sure, it’s late, but it will be worth hanging out until the wee hours to hear both Andrew and Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers.

How sure am I that it will be a great show? So sure that I want to make sure you get to go see it. Shoot me an email at dave@blueridgeoutdoors.com with ANDREW COMBS in the subject line. A winner of two passes to the show will be chosen from all of the emails received by noon on Friday, April 17th.

And if you are looking for more info on Andrew Combs, including how you can get a copy of the new record of when he might be gracing a stage near you, check out his website.