Last month, Luke Combs gave his fans a taste of what was coming on Gettin’ Old with a song called “Joe” about a recovering alcoholic. He dedicated that song to the people out there who struggle with substance abuse issues.
Recently, Luke appeared on Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen on Apple Music Country to talk about his new album. While he was there, he revealed that “Joe” wasn’t the original title of the song. He changed it on a whim and it stuck.
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Luke Combs Thought “Joe” Was a Better Title
When you think about it, “Joe” is probably the best title for this song. After all, it’s Joe’s story. So, why shouldn’t his name be the title of the song? Apparently, Luke Combs felt the same way.
“Erik Dylan wrote that song with James Slater and he had sent it to me,” Combs recalled. “Originally, it was called ‘The Bottle.’ I was at the Opry, and it was during COVID when I was playing the Opry when nobody was there. It was empty. It was just me and Craig Morgan.”
“I sat down and my creative guy, Zack, was there. They were like, ‘What’s the name of this song’ or whatever. He told them it was ‘The Bottle’ and when I played it, I said it was called ‘Joe,’” Combs said.
“I just wanted it to jump off the page. That was just the name that was in the song when Erik Dylan sent it to me,” Combs said of the last-minute change. Then, he referenced the opening line of the song, “I got a job and my name’s Joe.”
Why ‘Joe’ Resonated with Combs
When he released the song, Luke Combs talked about why it was so important to him. “There have been some folks in my family that have struggled with alcoholism and addiction through the years,” he revealed. “I’ve got buddies who live a sober lifestyle. And, I’m sure y’all know someone who has struggled with these type things, or maybe you, yourself, do. This song is really important to me for that reason.”
Luke Combs went on to talk about the prevalence of drinking songs in country music. He admitted to probably being one of the “worst culprits” of glorifying booze in his music. However, he hasn’t forgotten about those who don’t, can’t, or won’t drink. “Sometimes I wonder what someone in the crowd who doesn’t drink or struggles with addiction is thinking or feeling when there’s thousands of people around them screaming ‘Beer Never Broke My Heart,’” Combs said.
He added, “I’ve always wanted a song for those people to have for themselves. To have a song they can sing at the top of their lungs and feel like they’re not forgotten.”