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Malcolm Holcombe
Malcolm Holcombe
"Not Forgotten"
Irish Release September 14, 2007
Out on Munich Records

Had it not been for the persistence of Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams, 1996's "A Hundred Lies" (Hip-O/Universal) may never have seen the light of day. The album received four stars in Rolling Stone by music editor David Fricke, and accolades from USA Today, No Depression, and Dirty Linen as well as international press. His moody poetry, country blues guitar and rumbling baritone garnered comparisons to notable musicians such as Tom Waits and John Prine. But deals gone bust and some wrong turns kept him from the greater public and only sharpened his distrust of the "business" in general. Malcolm Holcombe is finally being recognized by the contemporary U.S and European folk/americana community as a performer of national stature, and an uncommonly unique guitarist/vocalist about whom Rolling Stone magazine says: "Haunted country, acoustic blues and rugged folk all meet [here]..."

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As Malcolm would tell you himself . . . .

"I was born at St. Joseph's hospital in Asheville, NC, sometime on September 2, 1955. The youngest of four boys. Dad was a hardworking busdriver and partners with his Father, "Papa Holcombe", of the Mars Hill-Weaverville bus line. Raised with a love of music and reading by my Mother and encouragement by my Father (who strongly suggested to me 'don't quit your day job' I learned to play a flat-top dad bought it. The home where I was raised is unrecognisable now in the used-to-be small mountain town of Weaverville, NC. Go-carts, baseball, fishin' holes and Main Street filled my days til my parents died, not too soon apart, (mother ' 73 and dad ' 79) & I moved to Florida.

After many trials and errors of tuning guesswork and neighborhood friends that didn't mind too much me hangin' around them that could play "Smoke On the Water"- and real rock 'n roll songs- high school days finally broke the sweat with a folk group "The Hilltoppers" who took me under their wings of patience and ditching classes to do shows and sock- hops, fairs and such, strumming Peter Paul and Mary songs and traditional Appalachian ballads with versions of old standard bluegrass songs- I wasn't up to snuff to sing, but they gladly made me welcome with my strummin'.

1976 rolled around and Caesar's Parlor in the Big City of Asheville where I met, and still admire and stay in touch with, Ray Sisk and Joey Freeman who opened up the saloon doors to Redwing, my second band if you will. Ray inspired me to work hard and perform, travel and write songs. Eventually a duo was formed with Sam Milner that resulted in my first LP "Trademark"- becoming familiar with roadwork and a few more chords and notes on guitar- solo shows and house gigs followed until my butt found a Greyhound bus and a one way ticket to Nashville September 2nd 1990 ummmmmmmmmoh well....................

Nashville days- yeah man- simply hard and frustrating beyond no man lands expressions and tales- Nashville TN. The rest is scribbled and slung down in songs- sad, sure and subtle and forever reasoned for. Takin' on ol' ways impure survival with no sound explanation. I continue performing, writing and supporting my family and blood flowin' folk ballads with no sound explanation- It's my job."

Malcolm's 2007 European release, Not Forgotten, was produced by Malcolm and Aaron Price at Collapseable Studios in Asheville and mastered by Grammy award winner Ray Kennedy (Steve Earle, Delbert McClinton) at Zen Masters Studios in Nashville, TN. Not Forgotten once again lifts Holcombe's music to another dimension. With a small, tight combo of experienced players, including bassist Bill Reynolds (Donna the Buffalo), and dobro player Jared Tyler (David Wilcox) this CD reveals a meeting ground where traditional and contemporary folk, rock and blues all converge. Taken together the final result is a deep drawing from the resonant well of our musical heritage, and its fusion, through Holcombe's inimitable style, should not be missed.

Malcolm has shared the road with Shelby Lynne and opened for such notable artists as Merle Haggard, Richard Thompson, John Hammond, Leon Russell and Wilco. In addition, Maura O'Connell cut two of Malcolm's songs on her album "Walls and Windows". Touring throughout the year, his live performances are legendary among his legions of fans. He continues to write prolifically, appearing regularly on radio in areas in which he is performing.

1. Sparrows and Sparrows
2. Goin' Home
3. A Steady Heart
4. Baby Doll
5. Room Eleven
6. Cryin' Dime
7. Not Forgotten
8. Your Eyes Will Shine
9. Yesterday's Clothes
10. Animated Sanctuary
11. This Ol' House
12. Where is My Garden?

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© Ray Kennedy
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