Malcolm Holcombe “To Drink The Rain” (Music Road Records 2011)
This album feels so effortless, the skill of the performer using a musical sleight of hand that lulls the senses with the beauty of it’s simplicity, this is Holcombe’s eighth album and has been produced by long-time sideman Jared Tyler – they know each other well and To Drink The Rain reflects that, recorded over three days in Austin TX with a seasoned band of cohorts from Texas and Nashville on-board the album is a live studio recording capturing the one-take essence of the writing and performance in their minutiae.
The opening track kicks things off with a light hearted and breezy country blues romp One Leg at a Time which came as a surprise to me I had expected something a little more austere having read Holcombe’s back story – his recent salvation from self-destructive forces was quelled by a return home to North Carolina where he opened the door to help and regained his faith in God, man and his own artistic abilities.
Close your eyes for track two Mountains of Home and for an all too brief three and a half minutes you’ll be transported to the rustic back porch of a NC homestead, indeed the whole album has that feel about it – the authenticity and sincerity of the performances unfold beautifully over the albums twelve tracks.
Lucinda Williams described Holcombe as ‘an old soul and modern day blues poet’ I’m struggling to find a more apt descriptive for him and if your not familiar with the man’s work this is a fine starting point, existing fans will lap this up.
Holcombe is touring in the UK and ROI during March you can catch him at;
March 2 Bristol St. Bonaventure’s
March 3 London Green Note
March 6 Plymouth B-Bar
March 7 Brighton The Latest Music Bar
March 8 Leicester The Musician
March 9 Norwich Norwich Arts Centre
March 10 Farncombe Farncombe Cavern
March 11 Gateshead Jumpin’ Hot Club
March 12 Aberdeen Peacock Visual Arts
March 15 Montrose Montrose Folk Club
March 16 Belfast The Errigle Inn
March 18 Clonmel Venue TBC Co. Tipperary, Ireland
March 19 Naul Séamus Ennis Cultural Centre Co. Dublin,
March 21 Cork Cypress Avenue