Pretty Little Troubles by Malcolm Holcombe
Malcolm Holcombe is one of the most unpretentious folk singers you'll ever have the pleasure of listening too. He sings songs on stage with the same attitude he'd have when pulling weeds from the garden. It's work that needs to be done. If you get some satisfaction out of it when he's done, well, that's fine. But it's still something that has to get done one way or the other. You use your back and a hoe to get the weeds out of the garden; Malcolm Holcombe uses a pencil and a beat up guitar to separate us from our Pretty Little Troubles. He doesn't suffer fools. I like that about him.
Malcolm Holcombe has been amazingly prolific of late delivering about an album a year for the past few years. Pretty Little Troubles is his 15th studio release. His albums have always kept the vocals and the acoustic guitar in dead center of your attention. But Darell Scott produced this album and there's more layers of sound in the background. There's more background vocals, a little more variety in the percussion, a little more harmonica, etc. But the album never tries to be anything other than a folk album. It never tries to be anything other than what Holcombe is.
"Crippled Point Of View" opens the album with the line "I Can't Deny These Troubled Old Times" repeated in blues fashion and paints an ominous, nervous picture of looking out at the world these days.
The title track packs a withering commentary on the times with just a few lines.
Go on spill your guts and complain / Ain't nothing left but to change / Don't worry too much about your pretty little troubles / Thank God you ain't never the same.
There are toe-tappers on the album too. "Good Ole Days" sounds like it came straight from the deepest hollers of the West Virginia. "Bury, England" is an amusing retelling of one of his shows. "South Hampton Street" has an exotic feel to it, maybe a gypsy vibe from some exotic European world from long ago.
One of the other highlights from the album is "Yours No More," which is a poignant commentary on people who have immigrated to our country. It's neither shrill nor political, nor topical. It's just the immigrant story told plainly.
Preview Pretty Little Troubles by Malcolm Holcombe.
Malcolm Holcombe Tour Dates
- March 4 – Pure Life Studios – Lagrange, GA
- March 10 – SLHC Concerts – Hickory, NC
- March 31 – Almost Austin – Pasadena, TX
- April 1 – Chickie Wah Wah – New Orleans, LA
- April 2 – The Frog Pond At Blue Moon Farm – Fairhope, AL
- April 3 – Wildman Steve Radio – Auburn, AL
- April 6 – Living Room Mirrored Concert Series – Richmond, VA
- April 7 – WNCW 88.7 FM – Spindale, NC
- April 8 – Isis Music Hall – Asheville, NC
- April 9 – Muddy Creek Music Hall – Winston-Salem, NC
- April 12 – Music City Roots – Nashville, TN
- April 13 – Red Light Café – Atlanta, GA
- April 14 – The Laurel Theater – Knoxville, TN
- April 15 – The Down Home – Johnson City, TN
- April 19 – Blue Tavern – Tallahassee, FL
- April 20 – River Room @ Mudville Grille – Jacksonville, FL
- April 21 – Luna Star Café – Miami, FL
- April 22 – ACMA – Fort Myers, FL
- May 4 – House Concert – East Providence, RI
- May 5 – Godfrey Daniels – Bethlehem, PA
- May 6 – Kathryn’s Space Concert Series – New York, NY
- May 7 – House Concert – Saugerties, NY
- May 14 – Mountain Stage – Charleston, WV
- May 18 – Albert Skylight Productions @ George Youth Center – Barnesville, OH
- May 19 – Harmony In The House Concert Series – Harmony, PA
- May 20 – Honky Tonk House Concert Series – Streetsboro, OH
- May 21 – Natalie’s – Worthington, OH
- May 27 – Jammin’ At Hippie Jack’s Music & Arts Festival – Crawford, TN
- June 2 – Sylvia Theatre – York, SC
- June 9 – Lemon Lounge – Austin, TX
- August 26 – River City Roots Festival – Missoula, MT
- September 8 – TBD – Louisville, KY
- September 29 – Red Dragon Listening Room – Baton Rouge, LA
- October 20 – Spiral Sounds Concerts – Jersey City, NJ