Malcolm Holcombe – Tricks Of The Trade: Album Review

Malcolm Holcombe takes us on a journey through blues, country, rock and bluegrass on Tricks Of The Trade.

Release date: 20th August 2021

Label: Need To Know Music

Format: Vinyl / CD / Digital

It was once said of Bob Dylan that he had a voice like sand and glue. With Malcolm you can add a bucket of gravel  but his voice works perfectly with this collection of  songs. A smoother voice wouldn’t express the passion and gritty honesty of his performance.

What is compelling is that he drags you into his world of  blues and country music  using his ‘lived in’ vocals and illustrative lyrics to explore all those areas that these music styles take you. However uncomfortable they can be there is warmth and fun.

Although his sound may be unique there is a rich vein of Nashville running through all these songs. I would love to stumble into a bar or club there and see Malcolm set up in a smoky corner or stage with intimately placed tables in a darkened atmospheric room. This is what he conjures up to me on Tricks Of The Trade. Fortunately I can create my own encore by repeated plays.

Accompanied by Jared Tyler on dobro, mandolin, guitar and vocals,  Dave Roe on bass  , Joe Roe on drums a cosy rhythmic groove is added to  these tunes. Malcolm blends country, blues, rock, bluegrass and poetical lyrics with aplomb. These are not songs merely to tap your foot to or sing catchy choruses along with, you need to delve into them and search for some meaning especially with words like

“There’s a rumble in the paper walls and the early morning questions fall from frigid winter lips.”

His  themes cover the plight of the downtrodden ordinary man as well as encapsulates the common concerns over issues effecting everyone at a national level,  vividly exposing that times can  be tough but humorous too. Words from the track Shaky Ground possibly summing up the main train of thought running through the album as we all battle through adversity.

Let the rain do the job.

Let the rain fall on down and wash away the walls.

Standin’ tall on shaky ground.

Malcolm Holcombe online: Website / Facebook / Twitter

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