Born and raised in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, Malcolm Holcombe is 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]..."
Born and raised in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, Malcolm Holcombe is 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]..."
The acts of writing songs and playing music have always been hopeful ones, however bleak the subject matter of the songs might be. With Down the River, Malcolm Holcombe has once again given us a handful of songs that are testimony to the human spirit. In these songs, the old truths still hold. Love, the inner life, music, these are eternal verities and will outlast the trickery and chicanery of those who would turn us against each other. In these strange and troubled times, we need Holcombe’s witness as much as we ever have, and it is our good fortune to receive it.
Malcolm Holcombe grew up in western North Carolina, home to some of the planet’s oldest mountains and some of America’s deepest musical traditions. Radio and TV fueled Malcolm’s musical passions as a kid, and music became even more important after he lost both his parents relatively young. He toured with bands and landed in Nashville, where he took up an inconspicuous station at the back of the house – the very back - at Douglas Corner, one of the city’s best singer/songwriter venues. Stories began to circulate about the mysterious dishwasher with the subterranean voice and oracle-like talent. Sadly so did stories of wildly inconsistent behavior – profound sweetness crossed by bouts of stunning abrasiveness. He flirted with an official music career. But his stunning debut album made for Geffen Records was abruptly shelved, producing melodrama that only exacerbated Malcolm’s drinking and depression. A business that once had a place for complicated genius turned its back on him, and he teetered near the edge. Moving back to the North Carolina hills proved a powerful tonic. Holcombe let in help where before he’d pushed it away. With deep faith in God and a commitment to his art, Holcombe repaired himself and his career. And that’s a pretty good nod to the effect of hearing Holcombe sing. If you’ve not seen him in a live setting, this is what you have to do. His presence is spooky and timeless, as one imagines it was like to see Son House or Leadbelly. No emotional stone is left unturned. While you plan for this important experience, collect Malcolm Holcombe albums... He is cryptic, demanding, polarizing, bold, passionate and free, a combination badly needed in our time of infinite trivia. He’s even more interesting for having made a remarkable journey of recovery and discovery.
Spanning the years 1994 to 2014, The RCA Sessions comprises 16 cuts in a CD/DVD retrospective that includes tracks from each of his previous 10 full length albums and 1 EP. Unlike the usual anthology of original recordings, Holcombe re-recorded the selected songs at the legendary RCA Studios in Nashville, TN in the fall of 2014. Included is the live performance favorite, "Mouth Harp Man", which is exclusive to this release, as well as well as the popular tracks "Goin' Home", "Who Carried You", and a very special duet with Irish folk great, Maura O'Connell, of Holcombe's classic, "A Far Cry From Here". The band members, who have all frequently performed with Malcolm in the studio as well as for live performances, are: Jared Tyler (dobro, electric guitar, lap steel, vocals); David Roe Rorick ( upright bass, arco), Tammy Rogers (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), Ken Coomer (drums, percussion), Jellyroll Johnson (harmonica), and Siobhan Maher Kennedy (vocals).
To represent Holcombe's live performance range- from the intimate nature of solo acoustic, to the much lauded duo configuration with long-standing multi-instrumentalist Jared Tyler, to the energy and intensity of his full band shows- the CD/DVD set includes all of the above-mentioned musical configurations. Cut as live performances in-studio, these tracks capture the spirit of Holcombe's incendiary concert performances and timeless songwriting.
As this is the first time Malcolm Holcombe has released a DVD performance, it is sure to become a much appreciated addition to both long time fans, as well as the perfect introduction for the uninitiated. The RCA Sessions is not an end, but a culmination of work that spotlights the artistic mastery of one of the most unique and irreplaceable musicians working today in the contemporary folk scene.
Craig Havighurst, Nashville
Vocal Mic - 1 SM 58 (or comparable)
4) Audio/video tapings of professional quality by venue/promoter/audience MUST have artist permission in advance of performance, as well as statement of intent. If taping is agreed to by artist, venue permission must also be granted. Once permission is obtained, a copy of taping is requested to be sent to artist management within 30 days, at the following address:
Gypsy Eyes Music
Camera phones and small hand-held cameras are fine, as long as
1) venue policy allows photos/taping,
2) there is no intent to sell or distribute acquired materials.
If meal/catering is provided, please note food/ingredient restrictions: no nuts, coconut, alcohol
If lodging is provided, please 1 hotel/motel room within reasonable proximity to venue; smoking room and ground floor if at all possible.
**Note to house concerts**
We always welcome inquiries from house concerts, but please note: Unless you have an established series, with website, mailing list, past concert history, etc,, your inquiry will be considered a "private concert". Please be certain to clarify in your inquiry which type of performance (house concert or private concert) you are requesting. Thanks!
Although Malcolm deeply appreciates the offer of in-home lodging, he politely declines.
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