Luke Combs’ Longtime Guitarist Rob Williford Exits Band, Reveals “I’m Simply Starting A New Chapter In Life”

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

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Andrew Wendowski

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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Posted on February 15, 2023

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Luke Combs, Rob Williford; Photos 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.

The 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 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.

Rob Williford; Photos by Andrew Wendowski
Rob Williford; Photos by Andrew Wendowski

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. 

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.”

Luke Combs, Rob Williford; Photos by Andrew Wendowski
Luke Combs, Rob Williford; Photos by Andrew Wendowski

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 Gettin’ Old album: “The Beer, the Band, and the Barstool,” and “Take You With Me.”

The chart-topping songwriter also frequently works with Kameron Marlowe and has co-written several of Marlowe’s songs such as “Fool Me Again,” “Granny’s Got A Garden” and “Take You Up On It.”

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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Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

See more posts from Andrew Wendowski