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A Conversation with Malcolm Holcombe

Puremusic: Hey, Malcolm.

Malcolm Holcombe: Right on time, ain't ya?

PM: Yeah, I'm that kind of guy.

MH: Hey, thanks for the call, man.

PM: Oh, you bet. How are you doing? What kind of a day you have today?

MH: I had a good day. We went to Linville Caverns.

PM: Yeah?

MH: Yeah, me and my wife and my little boy, we checked out Linville Caverns.

PM: Do you have any leaves changing color out in your part of the country?

MH: Yeah, man, yeah, they're changing.

PM: We ain't got much going on in Nashville.

MH: It looks like autumn around here.

PM: Like I said in that recent review, it was really great to see you looking so good at the Station Inn during that Americana Conference.

MH: Oh, well, I'm just--I get a manicure and a pedicure and a cup of coffee--

PM: [laughs]

MH: And, you know, brush my teeth and put my teeth in, false teeth, you know...

PM: It still had a lot of intensity, but really focused, too.

MH: Let them boys do all the work, Jelly Roll and Kenny.

PM: Oh, that Kenny! [Malone, drummer non pareil]

MH: They knew what they were doing, so you know that routine.

PM: Kenny Malone is unbelievable. He sounds like the road, you know, he sounds like the room. He's essential and he's transparent at the same time.

MH: Oh, man, he's a legend. He ain't nothing but plugged in, man. I'm glad and grateful to get a chance to pick some with him. It's been a while.

PM: He is amazing.

MH: I'm going to make some coffee here, just a little bit, anyway.

PM: It's only guys like you and me drink coffee this late at night. People don't understand that. We can go to bed right away.

MH: Yeah, I like my coffee.

PM: And Jellyroll, it's amazing how of the same mind you guys are now on stage.

MH: Yeah, we have played a lot together. I really love working with him.

PM: He's a beautiful guy.

MH: He's right on time and he's got the soul and the flavor. A good man, a good friend.

PM: When I saw you at the Station Inn, Darrell Scott and I shared a few admiring comments about your music. He's a big a fan of yours, as I am.

MH: Well, I like Darrell. He's another good man, too. I appreciate that.

PM: Yeah, he's the man.

MH: Frank, yeah, I got your email about some other folks there. [When I was introducing myself, I dropped a few unfamous names of friends we have in common.] I hadn't seen them in a while. I talk to Jack [Irwin] every now and then and give him a heads up on when I'm coming over there to pick. [Here we discussed another friend, my duo partner Peter Cronin.]

PM: I don't want to blow smoke, I've already blown quite a bit, but your songs really are different. What's lyric writing like for you? When do you do it and how do you approach it?

MH: Well, I mean, every day is different. And every situation, so it comes when it's supposed to.

PM: Yeah.

MH: I don't know. I don't have a--

PM: You don't, like, sit and do it in the morning, it comes when it comes.

MH: Yeah, whether it's writing on a piece of paper sometimes, I just jot down a couple ideas, or then again sometimes it comes in lock, stock, and barrel.

PM: Do you feel like it comes right out of your life, or it comes from somewhere else sometimes, you know?

MH: Oh, it just comes from living here on earth. And there's a spirituality in certain songs that I think comes from God--to me, anyway.

PM: Yeah.

MH: And I don't go for this channeling stuff, unless you got an old CB radio or something.

PM: [laughs]

MH: That's a little bit farfetched, in my way of thinking.

PM: Right. But--

MH: You know what I mean?  continue

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