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]..."
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.
Craig Havighurst, Nashville
2015 bio: The RCA Sessions
On April 6, 2015, to commemorate his 20 year musical career milestone, underground folk legend Malcolm Holcombe is releasing The RCA Sessions. The set will have international digital distribution through Proper Music Group.
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.