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Malcom Holcombe (from the album Bits and Pieces on Gypsy Eyes Music/Singular Recordings) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listeners might be forgiven for thinking Malcolm Holcombe is a bit of a curmudgeon. His music is unapologetically rough around the edges and his songs make no attempt to share any softer sentiments. Take this sample lyric from “Bring to Fly”, one of the 15 stark songs from his modestly titled new album:
‘The hypocrites of poisoned concrete
Grow taller in their clay feet…
The masterminds of the misdeeds
The wolves among us so many sheep
Stay hungry never satisfied
Slaughter poor and blinded eyes’
So, Mr. Holcombe, what do you really think?
Of course, one has to give due credit to any artist who dares speak his mind, and Malcolm Holcombe has always had a penchant for doing just that. It’s a habit he’s nurtured over the course of more than a dozen albums, resulting in a sound and style that makes him akin to some sort of modern journeyman. In a way, he’s a reincarnation of the prototypical old school folk troubadour, an artist who needs little more than a battered guitar and a meaningful message to get his point across. In this case, he opts for the sole accompaniment of multi-instrumentalist and producer Jared Tyler, but his rugged, rustic ramblings aren’t deterred by the lack of any big screen scenario. His gruff vocals get the point across, mostly bringing to mind early Bob Dylan in his early Folk phase. Song after song bears out those similarities, with “Fill Those Shoes”, “Hard Luck City”, “The Wind Doesn’t Know You”, “Bootstraps”, and “I’ve Been There”, standouts in a series of hard luck stories, each bolstered by uncompromising intent and relentless recrimination.
Granted, there’s nothing particularly pretty about these melodies, but while the arrangements are taut as opposed to tender, the decided determination never ebbs. Bits and Pieces is nothing less than a demonstrative set of songs, all of which are clearly intwined. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Malcolm Holcombe from AMAZON
Please go to the Malcolm Holcombe website for more purchase and artist information
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