Monday, 4 August 2014

Malcolm Holcombe - Pitiful Blues

Writing In Good Company

Writing in the direct and honest storytelling mode of Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, Malcolm Holcombe's tenth album Pitiful Blues does present the pity in hard tales about those who struggle, but this is made meaningful beyond simple despair by the lyricism that can convey this so emotively - as well as prettily in the songcraft, for example Words Not Spoken. Holcombe's vocal delivery of rasp and slur is exactly like that of Watermelon Slim, and this brusque beauty seems to add a further layer of credibility to these haunting blues vignettes, though the musical genre is broader than this with its rootsy americana and folk elements, the fiddle of Luke Bulla and the dobro/mandolin of Jared Tyler in particular adding other depths. Fourth track Savannah Blues is a haunting lament on loss and death, whilst closer For the Love of a Child is sweetly reflective.

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