Self Release …………
Bring on the beautiful melancholy Malcolm Halcombe. A name I’ve read but not knowingly heard, respected people all murmured good things but he still
remained elusive to the ear. But now I feel part of the world once more for I have finally caught up with this his tenth album, and all the good things seem justified.
That last statement may be to damn with faint praise, and is the last thing I would want as I thoroughly enjoyed the entire album; in fact, just forthe hell of it, I played it twice and, just as soon as I’ve finished eulogising, I will go and play it again.
The press release would have me believe that the ten tracks on this album have a sound sparse in comparison with the previous nine releases – all I can say is please keep it that way. But how best to describe what joys await you? Mention of Chris Smither and John Prine will lead in the right direction, and if I were to say that Mr Holcombe hails from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina you would start to join the dots and the picture would become clearer-an accomplished picker of the country blues, a possessor of bourbon-drenched vocals and I swearthat the echo of an old time string band can be heard on the ether.
With the integrity to make you believe that he has lived every word of the ten self-written tracks, I can only add that Malcolm Holcombe is the real deal. If you find joy in the beauty of twilight ratherthan feel the disappointment of another day disappearing, then the melancholy beauty is for you to savour as you sit on the verandah with your favourite tipple in hand and listen to the sunset. Ian Ambrose