Luke Combs' Meteoric Rise

Luke Combs is one of the most successful country artists of the last decade and the guy just oozes talent - he's a giant in the industry whose meteoric rise over the last 7 years is nearly unrivaled.

Since 2016, Combs has released four studio albums, four extended plays, and over eighteen singles. Of them, sixteen have gone to number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

His songs are relatable and catchy, and he's the kind of live performer you save your money to see, paying nearly any amount.  He's that good, but he can't do it alone.

"Where the Wild Things Are"

Luke Combs’ latest single is called “Where The Wild Things Are” and we've been playing it here at GNA for months.  Aside from being an absolute smash, the song has a bit of backstory.

For starters, according to country music insiders, the song floated around Nashville's inner circle for a few years and was almost recorded by the great Eric Church, but he eventually turned it down.

The other sidebar about "Where the Wild Things Are", was that it was co-written by Dave Turnbull, and a Nashville songwriter named Randy Schlappi, known professionally as Randy Montana.

Albany-Native is a Country Hitmaking Machine

Randy Montana, born in Albany in 1985 is the son of singer-songwriter Billy Montana, a country singer in his own right who has written many top hits for artists Garth Brooks, Jo Dee Messina, and Sara Evans.

Brian Cody
Randy Montana, born in Albany, NY helped pen some of the biggest hits in country music over the last 6 years Photo: YouTube

When Randy was a teenager, he left Albany for Nashville to pursue a music career in the industry his father introduced him to when he was a little boy. In 2010, he was signed to Mercury Records and had a couple of mid-level hits before concentrating mostly on writing.

He wrote some songs for Montgomery Gentry and Justin Moore, but his life took on a whole new path when he met Luke Combs in 2016.

Montana to Combs for the Win

"I met Luke right when he moved to town. He was a little familiar with me because I had recently put out an EP," Montana told

Montana explains that over time their relationship blossomed, and then one day Combs tells him, “I got two titles that I want to write—one is called “Hell or High Water” and one is called “Beer Never Broke My Heart.”

He told that they wrote “Hell or High Water” first, explaining that It was a "deeper song, more artistic." Then we said, “Well alright, let’s write the beer song now."

The rest, as they say, is history.  But this is history in the making because following the success of "Beer", the two linked up to write "Better Together," which became Combs' tenth straight #1 hit on country radio and was one of the biggest songs of 2021.



But Combs isn't the only country star Montana has teamed up with.

With a couple of #1 songwriting credits to his name, he had the chance to co-write “I Hope You’re Happy Now” for Carly Pearce and Lee Brice followed by Parker McCollum's "Pretty Heart."



What makes a song a hit?

Is it the catchy hook, instant familiarity, relatable lyrics, or is something completely different?

I'm not sure anyone has the answer to that, but one thing is for certain, a great song is like a drug. It does something to our pleasure sensors that we can't quite explain, or deny.

Randy Montana is on the kind of songwriting hot streak that can last a long time, and it's pretty wild to think that not too long time ago, that streak started right here in the Capital Region.



Every Country Artist Performing In Upstate NY In 2024

We are eagerly anticipating another big year of Country shows in 2024, and here is a complete list of artists already scheduled to perform in the year ahead in the Capital Region and all over Upstate New York. Don't miss your favorite Country stars - keep checking back here as we will be adding lots of shows in the weeks and months ahead.

Gallery Credit: Matty Jeff

27 Images of Upstate New York's Most Magnificent Landmarks

I've lived here my entire life, and I'm not sure I realized just how beautiful the Empire State truly is. There's no shortage of stunning landscapes and breathtaking views throughout the great State of New York.

It doesn't matter where you live, or where you travel, New York residents are never far from a gorgeous beach, a picturesque state park, or an awe-inspiring mountain.

In 2018, a photographer named Demetri Andritsakis made a 3-and-a-half-minute drone video highlighting many of New York's breathtaking views called "Upstate New York By Air".

Andritsakis submitted it to the 2018 New York State Fair Drone Film Festival, and deservedly so, he received a Gold Medal honor for his aerial work throughout upstate New York.

From the Adirondacks to the Catskills, Albany to Buffalo, and everything worth seeing in between, check out these spectacular pics featuring 27 of the Most Magnificent Landmarks in Upstate New York.

Gallery Credit: Brian Cody TSM Albany

Which NY Lottery Scratch-Off Games Have the Most Top Prizes Left?

There are plenty of NY Lottery scratch-off games that have big jackpots left. If you are feeling lucky, try your luck at one of the New York Lottery scratch-off games. According to the New York Lottery, these are the scratch-off games that still have jackpots to be won to make you become an instant millionaire.

Gallery Credit: NY Lottery

More From 107.7 WGNA