Wednesday, July 12, 2006

"blood flowin’ folk ballads with no sound explanation"

glisten: malcolm holcombe

Malcolm Holcombe - Cathy's Creek from I Never Heard You Knockin'

Malcolm Holcombe - Sparrows and Sparrows from Not Forgotten

If you (like me) are pissed off to discover that Tom Waits' '06 tour is taking place all but entirely South of the Mason/Dixon, here's salve for thea t wound: today's Hut offers the work of another folk/rock musician whose ragged and raw blues should help you while away the longer hours.

Malcolm Holcombe is a rural North Carolinian who writes and sings some of the most heartfelt and honest folk mountain music you'll hear. He is a kind and gentle man in person, a hell of a good listen on tape (his '05 disc I Never Heard You Knockin' was one of my last year's favorites) and a focused, glorious whirlwind on the stage. He's also a tetch eccentric; at live shows, he'll squeal, growl, violently shake his head and walk aimlessly in circles with his back to the crowd. None of this comes off as strained or hokey; Malcolm seems more like a man who's spent many an hour alone in a room, playing music for his own edification.

I've just gotten a copy of Not Forgotten, Malcolm's newest album and while I've only listened it through two or three times, my initial response is that it sounds much more self-assured and lighter than any of Holcombe's prior work. I look forward to having it sink in over the next few days as I play it into the ground.

Here's a sample track from that new album and a high point from the aforementioned '05 disc for you to try out. Keep an eye out for Malcolm to support the album with some shows; if he gigs anywhere near you, don't miss it.

tell me more about it...

Buy any of Malcolm's last three albums direct from Village Records.

Holcombe's first album is available at Amazon.

eMusic comes up empty, but iTunes has A Hundred Lies if you'd rather go digital.
Visit Malcolm's official website.
Watch Malcolm perform 'The Station' live, complete with trademark grunts, face shaking and head bobbin'.

Please ignore the fucknut intro. "Evolved Hillbilly," my Aunt Fanny.
Reporters who sit down with Malcolm seem to often come away befuddled and amused, insinuating either that he's a cryptic hayseed or some sort of a savant. Truth is, he's just plain folks but I guess that's enough to confuse some.

If you'd like to fly-on-the-wall somebody a bit more on-the-ball talking with Holcombe about his influences and interests, I recommend you read this lengthy and informative interview from puremusic.
Listen to (and download) the title track from Malcolm's new album from his myspace page.

You can also grab my favorite Holcombe track, the haunting Kiss Me When I'm Sleepin',from (stop-me-before-I-shill-again) the ever-lovin' Joe's Pub music repository.

Best for last: Candace Corrigan's The Nashville Nobody Knows podcasted a half hour interview/overview of Malcolm's work last year; you can listen to/download that here.