Video Premiere: James Combs “High Pine Steeples” Feat. The Well Pennies

we’re pleased to share with you the latest single from Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter James Combs.  Combs’ love of the redwood trees in California is clear from his heartfelt lines: “In the redwood cathedrals I found my home // In the redwood cathedrals I am born…In the high pine steeples // I can breathe my mind.”  Combs explains the inspiration behind the song: “When I first moved to California I found myself profoundly attracted to the magnificent giant redwood groves near where I was living in Petaluma. Going to Muir Woods was like going to church. To stand under these serene colossal trees and watch the sunlight stream through the canopy high above was about as close to a cosmic epiphany as I have experienced outside of playing music. I have been in love with those trees ever since and try to find a way to be in their presence every chance I get. So ‘High Pine Steeples’ is my ode to those special beings – they really are my favorite people, as the song says.”  

The accompanying video features Combs swaying to the gentle rhythms of his song in various awe-inspiring locations.  Indeed, it’s easy to see why he’s so enchanted by these wonderful trees and we share a little in the magic he feels through the power of music.

‘High Pine Steeples’ benefits from the contributions of Bryan and Sarah Vanderpool, also known as The Well Pennies.  Before relocating to Iowa, the pair used to live in Los Angeles, where they developed a firm friendship with Combs over ten years.  In 2022, Bryan invited Combs to visit their Golden Bear studio in Des Moines and to take part in a music conference there.  ‘High Pine Steeples’ was one of the highlights of their sessions together.  Their three-part harmonies are uplifting and melodic, while dreamy layers of upright bass and slide guitar from Bryan are spellbinding.  Sarah’s piano adds further texture over a soft, echoing beat.  Lovely stuff.

Known for his work with the band Great Willow, a series of well-received albums and writing music for popular TV shows like Six Feet Under, True Blood and Shameless, James Combs’ folk-pop blend is delightfully engaging and timeless.  Meanwhile, the multi-instrumental talents of The Well Pennies have led to over 40 million streams and Combs’ collaboration with the talented Vanderpools works perfectly.  More songs they recorded together will emerge as future singles.  In the meantime, enjoy this.

About Andrew Frolish 1441 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Nils Lofgren, Ferris & Sylvester, Tommy Prine, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...
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