Born and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Malcolm Holcombe is recognized as a folk/Americana performer of international stature, and an uncommonly unique guitarist/vocalist about whom Rolling Stone said, “Haunted country, acoustic blues and rugged folk all meet [here].” Previewed during his recent European tour, his keenly awaited tenth album Pitiful Blues will be released on August 4.
“I have been working with Malcolm Holcombe for going on 15 years. Malcolm exemplifies “being in the moment” in the studio – cutting everything live; himself, his guitar and vocals, with live musicians. During the past few records we have made together, whether in North Carolina, Nashville, or Austin, Malcolm would send the musicians demos of the tunes that he had recorded solo in his backyard studio. Ofttimes, I would comment on how good these recordings sounded on their own – just one simple mic capturing Malcolm, his guitar, and the rhythm of his foot on the floor – purely. Last November, after a few years of hearing the demos, I suggested we try making a record around these live recordings. This experimental process of his backyard studio recordings have resulted in this latest album: Pitiful Blues. In producing this project, I wanted to accentuate Malcolm’s simple, raw process that would make this record stand out from the other albums he’s done, and to convey ‘more’ of Malcolm himself, live in his backyard studio. I have had to rethink much of what I thought I knew about recording with this album. By most recording standards, our procedure might be considered lo-fi. Yet sometimes the simple sound of one microphone, a guitar, and a singer of songs, can speak and sound more true than the sound of more sophisticated studios and recordings. It is indeed my honor to be a part of this album, and most importantly Malcolm’s music. It’s my hope that the listener will be deeply moved by the sound of the Carolina hills radiating out of Malcolm’s stories and songs: ‘pure-D’ Malcolm Holcombe.” Jared Tyler (co-producer)
Acclaim for Malcolm Holcombe
“..stripped-down Americana at its best… Like all great storytellers he knows how to wring every ounce of emotion from his material” Acoustic magazine
“Listen to a Holcombe song and what you’re getting is personality in spades, a narrative so gritty with the noise of tough living that it rarely dips below the red on the authenticity meter.” BBC Music
“They threw away the mould when they made Malcolm Holcombe. In short, he doesn’t just sing songs, he lives them.” The Herald
“Comparing Malcolm Holcombe with the likes of John Prine, Chris Smither, JJ Cale, Levon Helm or even Tom Waits is entirely justifiable. As a performing artist and songwriter, Malcolm Holcombe is an authentic country-blues bard.” Irish Examiner
“Malcolm Holcombe…stands out like a beacon in an industry full of shiny young things. He is an individual and a one-off and the World is a better place for having him in it.” No Depression
“If you look in the dictionary under authentic Americana, the first thing you’ll see is Malcolm Holcombe’s name. His inner strength shines through the songs, which have a redemptive power and the feel and emotional punch that money can’t buy. ” R2
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Artist’s website: www.malcolmholcombe.com