Malcolm Holcombe is possessed by a singular sort of solitary genius that, like the novelist William Faulkner, is yet the voice of an entire region – the South–and even of a generation, though somehow transcendent of it, timeless. If true greatness moves from the particular to the universal, his music speaks for all of humanity while remaining entirely his own.
A North Carolina son of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Holcombe belongs to a tradition of bardic singer-songwriters that includes such legends as Townes Van Zandt, Blaze Foley, Gurf Morlix and David Olney. He is an acclaimed contemporary of Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle and has shared the stage with Merle Haggard, Richard Thompson, John Hammond, and Leon Russell. Yet Holcombe stands apart, his soul-stirring lyrics are hill country high poetry, the music pure back roads. His musicianship is uncanny, like no other, as though he had invented the guitar.
Holcombe’s guitarwork is always masterfully spontaneous. On stage, edgily rocking his chair, his finger-flying fretwork and strum spin the theater like a roulette wheel, while his granular voice takes us aboard an Americana folk bus that is a ravaged speeding palace of bad luck and hurtles us down the blacktop road of no return where chain gang blues mingle with Celtic madrigals resonant with hardbitten lives.
Holcombe’s songs contain not only love but fury, careen dangerously to the edge as they portray the hopelessness of the destitute, the broken wards of shattered lives whose desperate gambles turn up craps. Holcombe sings from gut-shot experience.
Rod Abernethy has been playing in the Carolinas for more than three decades, singing and performing on 6 and 12 string acoustic guitar. Rod’s original songs revolve around family, friends and places in North Carolina. His guitar instrumentals are in the styles of some of his favorite guitar players like Leo Kottke, Michael Hedges and Chet Atkins. He also performs covers of his favorites singers including Steve Earle, Tom Waits, Nick Drake and Bob Dylan. He has a strong history in the southern rock music scene, reaching back to his days as a guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter in well known North Carolina bands including Arrogance, Glass Moon, Rod Dash, The Slackmates and Sixteen Tons.
Rod is currently working on his new album with legendary producer Don Dixon (REM, The Smithereens, Marti Jones, Gin Blossoms) that’s due for released in late summer 2017.