The country star and soul singer looked like two longtime pals just jamming when they taped their episode of the celebrated series live during the week of CMA Fest for a crowd of eager fans. On Thursday night (June 28), we’ll get to witness the magic of that night on Nashville’s Lower Broadway when the special premieres on CMT.
Combs told CMT.com he’d long been a fan of Bridges’ work, but even beyond the fandom, working with Bridges presented a unique opportunity for him to do something completely different and flex an unused musical muscle.
“It takes me out of my comfort zone, which I like,” Combs said during the joint interview with Bridges.
Bridges felt the same way. “This collaboration is super unique,” he told CMT.com. “He [Combs] sounds great on my songs. He’s singing them better than me!”
“Oh, I don’t know about that!” Combs shot back with a laugh.
But Bridges himself isn’t entirely a stranger to country music. The Texas native has collaborated with Kacey Musgraves, and also leans heavily on the exposure to country music from his childhood.
“I grew up on a lot of R&B music, but when I started writing songs, I was exposed to guys like Willie Nelson and Bob Wills, and I definitely identify with those guys. I love what they do, I love country music, and I like to incorporate that in my own songwriting.”
During the episode, the two stars perform songs from Bridges’ set like “River” and “Coming Home,” and we have to say Combs was right at home with those soulful melodies and the groove of Bridges’ popular tunes. And Bridges appeared completely natural singing songs from Combs’ set like “When It Rains It Pours” and “Hurricane.”
Turns out a good time and good songs translate no matter what musical language you speak.
Even beyond the music, this was a winning experience for these two. It was clear that they struck up a friendship right from the first meeting.
“I was surprised at how good of a dude he was when we met,” Combs said. “I was like, ’Oh I hope he’s not some big celebrity guy.’ He was so nice, man. Everyone in his band and crew is so nice. And they were so happy to accommodate me and my guys and that goes a long way for me.”
So will these new buds contemplate more collaborations in the future?
“I think that would be cool, to write something,” Combs said as he looked to Bridges, to which Bridges smiled and said, “I mean, we homies now.”
P.S. The two cover songs featured in the episode couldn’t have been more perfect, but we’ll let you watch for yourselves.
Tune-in to the premiere of CMT Crossroads: Luke Combs and Leon Bridges tomorrow 10 pm ET.