Last year, I had the opportunity to talk with singer/songwriter/guitarist Malcolm Holcombe--and his rags to rags story was one of the most interesting things I've heard in some time. And, tonight, Holcombe brings his beautifully ragged brand of folk to the intimate confines of AllGood Café.
Hailing from North Carolina, he gives new meaning to the words honesty and intensity. Besides being a renowned guitarist, Holcombe's songs feature narratives that never sugar-coat his struggles with substance abuse and depression. Holcombe's 2008 release, Gamblin' House, was an eerie collection of Appalachian folk that brought the singer his best reviews to date and has allowed him to tour more consistently. And Holcombe's just-released new effort, For The Mission Baby, just might be his best yet. Catching this guy in the intimacy of AllGood Café is icing on the proverbial cake.
Even more frosting comes in the folk of the opening act, Andrew Hardin. Another guitarist of some note, Hardin adds a flamenco flair to his pretty ballads and folksy takes on the blues. It's been a while since Hardin has released a record, but those curious should seek out 2005's Blue Acoustic.
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You're not likely to find a better pairing of singer/songwriters than Holcombe and Hardin--on any night of the week or in any city you can think of.