Cut from classic troubadour cloth, North Carolinan Holcombe has been recording for 20 years, though dogged by bad luck (dropped by Geffen, his previous album, A Hundred Lies, was only released after fans Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams found him a label). His husk of a voice and country-blues finger-picking is reminiscent of Eric Andersen and Tim Hardin, but closest to JJ Cale. The 48-year-old's stream-of-consciousness lyricism is unique, though, bearing the scars of a troubled past.

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Malcolm Holcombe – Another Wisdom

Cut from classic troubadour cloth, North Carolinan Holcombe has been recording for 20 years, though dogged by bad luck (dropped by Geffen, his previous album, A Hundred Lies, was only released after fans Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams found him a label). His husk of a voice and country-blues finger-picking is reminiscent of Eric Andersen and Tim Hardin, but closest to JJ Cale. The 48-year-old’s stream-of-consciousness lyricism is unique, though, bearing the scars of a troubled past. The tender “Love Abides” carries the line: “My past is old and black as Gunga Din/Her mem’ry’s sweet and young as Magdalene.”