Luke Combs’ Longtime Guitarist Rob Williford Departs the Band
Luke Combs' longtime guitarist Rob Williford is moving on to his next chapter. The musician and songwriter, who helped pen some of Combs' biggest hits, announced his decision to leave the superstar's touring band on social media on Wednesday (Feb. 15).
In his announcement post, Williford makes it clear that his decision to leave has nothing to do with any negative feelings between himself and his road family — he says that he is "simply starting a new chapter in life," after years of touring with Combs' band.
"I always knew that I would just know — and I know — it's time. That doesn't make it one bit easier," he reflects in a lengthy statement. "I am equally as terrified of the future as I am excited for it."
Williford explains that he's planning to devote all his time and energy to writing and producing moving forward.
"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," the guitarist jokes.
In addition to providing these updates, he also took some time to thank the fans who came out to all Combs' shows, his bandmates and — of course — his tour boss.
"Through the good, the bad and ugly of this surreal simulation I sometimes feel like I'm living in, one person has always had my back. A brother in the truest sense of the word," Williford writes. "Luke, I owe you so much, man. There are no words. I could never thank you enough for your loyalty and your friendship and for allowing me to part of your journey over the years."
Although Williford won't be joining Combs when the country superstar heads out on his 2023 World Tour this spring, his decision to part ways with Combs' band isn't entirely a goodbye — the two friends are planning to continue co-writing music. Williford has been a collaborator on a number of Combs' hits, including "Beautiful Crazy," which won Song of the Year at the 2019 CMA Awards. They also co-wrote "Forever After All," which was nominated for that same award in 2021 and won Song of the Year at the 2022 BMI Awards.
"We have another Song of the Year to write soon," Williford promises the star in his post. "I love you. Thank you for believing in me."
In the comments section of Williford's post, Combs admits that his longtime bandmate's words left him a little emotional.
"God dang, that one got me," Combs says. "Love you too buddy. We got plenty of songs and memories ahead of us too."