Friday, April 1, 2011
i remember an old review of a gordon lightfoot album that started by saying how lucky we are that lightfoot hadn't just ended up being the guy that pulls out a guitar at the neighborhood bbq. i never really bought that kind of thinking about lightfoot. he was way too handsome & talented to be consigned to being a nobody &, of course, there was that voice.
on the other hand, malcolm holcombe IS someone that description fits to a tee. he's flown under most everyone's radar & if it hadn't been for a no depression article on him a few years back, i'd have missed out too. i was fortunate enough to actually catch holcombe at a tiny charlotte venue, the evening muse. he's suited to smaller audiences, his between song stories ramble but the intensity of his music radiates perfectly in a small packed room. there are times when his lyric syntax mirrors david milch's odd shakespearian constructions in deadwood but his guitar playing recalls lightin' hopkins run through richard thompson.
his new album, to drink the rain, is one of his best. it's got at least five of his strongest songs to date & no throwaways at all.