Luke Combs Honors Toby Keith, Talks "Fast Car" Post Grammys At Private Ryman Show

Luke Combs: “(Tracy Chapman) is one of my heroes and one of the reasons I started singing. Singing with Tracy was incredible. I did my best."

Two days after Luke Combs joined Tracy Chapman to deliver one of the most talked about performances of the night with “Fast Car” at the 2024 Grammy Awards, he was back in Nashville to play a private show for about 450 people at Ryman Auditorium.

EastCoast Entertainment (ECE) and Atlas Experiences brought Combs to the Ryman for the small audience, who walked away with a night rich with memories. Wearing what’s become his signature dark, short-sleeved button-down shirt, a dark ball cap and jeans, Combs carried his red Solo cup onto stage at the beginning of the show and settled onto a stool where he spent the evening laughing, singing and joking with the band and audience.

Combs delivered an hour-long acoustic set that included his version of Chapman’s “Fast Car,” which became a multi-week No. 1 hit.

“(Tracy Chapman) is one of my heroes and one of the reasons I started singing,” Combs said from the stage. “Singing with Tracy was incredible. I did my best. Now you’ve heard Tracy do it, which is way better. But now you get to hear me do it.”

Fans shouted words of encouragement at the stage and Combs said: “It’s a lot of pressure playing this after the other night.”

The set also included stripped-down versions of “Best of Me,” “One Number Away,” “Cold As You,” “Beautiful Crazy,” “Lovin’ On You,” “The Kind of Love We Made,” and “Doin’ This,” which he said he wrote with friends during the pandemic at his house.

“During Covid times, I was just sitting in my garage playing music for friends,” Combs explained. “I was telling the story of how during interviews, people always ask what I’d be doing if I wasn’t doing this.”

Combs said he and his co-writers were so excited about writing “Doin’ This” that they came back over the next day to finish writing the song.

“This song got me a nomination for a Grammy, but I didn’t win,” Combs said. “I’m zero for seven on those Grammys. It’s tough!”

Fans were on their feet singing, dancing, and cheering all night. Earlier that day, news of Toby Keith’s passing broke, and many shouted requests for Combs to cover Keith’s songs. Towards the end of the show, he obliged.

Combs and his guitar player huddled on the side of the stage while the musician quickly worked out the guitar licks in front of the crowd. Combs looked up the words on his phone to “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” and then stepped back into the spotlight and paid tribute to Keith by singing his first of 20 No. 1 hits.

“I’m glad you guys asked because we didn’t know if we should do a Toby song,” Combs said. “It’s good to know you love Toby’s music as much as we do.”

Combs closed the show with a rowdy “Beer Never Broke My Heart” and “When It Rains It Pours.”

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