Rob Williford Leaves Luke Combs’ Band; Reveals What’s Next And Bids Farewell To Combs

“I am equally as a terrified of the future as I am excited for it,” Williford wrote.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

February 15, 2023

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Rob Williford, Luke Combs; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Rob Williford, a longtime member of Luke Combs’ band and a co-writer of several of Combs’ biggest hits, announced his departure from Combs’ band in a heartfelt social media post.

Williford served as Combs’ guitarist on the road for several years and co-wrote songs such as “Doin’ This,” “Forever After All, and “Beautiful Crazy,” revealed the news on Tuesday. In his post, he reflected on his time on tour with the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year and shared his gratitude for the time they spent together. 

“From a Dodge Neon to a 15 passenger van to a bus… from dive bars to stadiums. For the past decade, I have had the pleasure of playing music with my friend. I still can’t quite wrap my head around it all when I try to step back and reflect on the experience that started with a couple guys from Carolina writing songs together and playing ’em for whoever would show up. I don’t think either of us could have ever dreamed where it would take us, but as for me, I know for damn sure, even if I could, I wouldn’t change a thing,” he began. 

Williford admitted that he spent several sleepless nights reeling over the decision, but ultimately decided to leave to focus on writing and producing. (This news comes after Williford signed a global publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music and Edgehill Music Publishing in the summer of 2022. 

“I always knew that I would just know – and I know – it’s time. That doesn’t make it one bit easier. I am equally as a terrified of the future as I am excited for it. But just to set the record straight, no I’m not going out on my own. No I’m not pursuing a career as an artist. And no, I’m not doing liberty mutual commercials. I’m simply starting a new chapter in life,” he continued. 

Williford sent on to thank the fans, other members of Luke Combs’ band as well as the touring camp for their time spent together. 

“I consider each of your family and the memories we share together are irreplaceable,” he added. 

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Finally, he shared heartfelt words in honor of Luke Combs: his friend, musical collaborator, and bandmate. 

“Through the good, the bad, and ugly, of this surreal situation I sometimes feel like I’m living in; one person has always had my back. A brother in the truest since of the word. Luke, I owe you so much man,” he wrote. “There are no words. I could never thank you enough for your loyalty and your friendship and  for allowing me to be a part of your journey over the years. And just so we’re clear, this journey isn’t over. We have another song of the year to write soon. I love you. Thank you for believing in me. Go kick ass on that world tour.” 

Combs was quick to respond to Williford’s message. “God dang, that one got me. Love you too buddy. We got plenty of songs and memories ahead of us too,” Combs commented, while his wife Nicole wrote, “Love ya rob!! Excited for what’s next for you 🙌🏼 and Clem of course.”

Williford and Combs met in 2014 and have been friends and bandmates ever since.

The award-winning songwriter also penned several previously released Luke Combs songs “One Number Away,” “Don’t Tempt Me,” Must’ve Never Met You,” “Nothing Like You,” and “The Other Guy.” He also has two cuts on Combs’ forthcoming Growin’ Up album: “The Beer, the Band, and the Barstool,” and “Take You With Me.”  

Rob Williford; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Rob Williford; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

The chart-topping songwriter also frequently works with Kameron Marlowe.

Luke Combs is preparing to embark on his massive world tour, sans Williford, which will mark the first trek without his longtime bandmate.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.