Malcolm Holcombe at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck – July 12, 2016

holcombe1For over 2 decades and 10-plus albums, Malcolm Holcombe has treaded right on the cusp of notoriety and infamy.

One of my favorite quotes on Holcombe has always come from Steve Earle, who said he was “the best songwriter I ever threw out of my studio.” That follows the intensity and controlled chaos that is a Malcolm Holcombe set.

The years have seen less unpredictability from Holcombe. He rarely rocks his chair to points where most people would lose their balance and crash into the floor. He also no longer wanders the stage during songs while singing bent over the mic with the back to his audience. However, he maintains an intensity that would leave an audience of punk rockers in awe. There is not a moment Holcombe does not seem to be pouring himself out on stage through songs or meandering stories that seems like nonsense until the song joins it.

With a new album, Another Black Hole, out in the world for consumption, Holcombe rolled through Houston for his second stop at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck. Sensing he was in classier quarters than usual, Holcombe held back most of his colorful language and stories for the latter half of the set, when he found a rapport with the audience and a sense of comfort.

The first thing one notices at a show by Holcombe is the extraordinary amount of sound coming from the small, fragile looking man that walks on stage and his acoustic guitar. Once he throws his hat to the ground and begins his fingerpicking, any thought of fragility disappears. He beats notes out of the guitar, frails all 5 fingers across the strings to bring percussion, lead and rhythm all out at once. A stare that looks nothing short of crazed and haunted comes across his face, then the stories begin.

holcombe2The music comes from a breadth of experiences. There are reflective songs like his opener for the past few tours, Mountains of Home, and downright bitter songs lamenting the average man being left on his own like the upbeat Papermill Man or the slower Savannah Blues .

The songs rolled forth for a little over an hour before Holcombe exited the stage to calls for an encore. As he ducked outside, pulling his pack of cigarettes from the pocket on his t-shirt, the cries carried on for a few more songs. Then, as people began to give up, Holcombe’s cigarette must have burned to its final drag as he came through the front door to finish out the show with a 1-2 punch of The Music Plays On and A Far Cry From Here.

If you’ve never heard Malcolm Holcombe, be sure to get that changed up real soon. He’s not getting younger, his cigarette intake is forever unwavering and the road keeps calling him out on it. Don’t miss your opportunity to see this man up-close and personal.

For more information, check out his website:



Nashville gets a bad rap and, for all intents and purposes, it’s well earned. Sure Nashville is too blame for Big & Rich. But it’s also ultimately to be thanked for Malcolm Holcombe and a whole host of other highly revered Americana artist. Ultimately, Nashville is a lot like the hub of any industry whereas the first 10 layers are gonna end up being homogenized and prebuilt for mass appeal while the real meat lies within the struggling supporting staff.

Meet Andrew Combs.

I’ve never been to Nashville but from what I am told there is a pretty legitimate underground scene of real artists making their own music and trying to make a go of it in the bright light city an,d according to my sources, Andrew is beginning to make himself quite a name in that little circle. My man Jordan, who manages 9B faves The Only Sons, turned me onto the fact that Andrew was gonna be working the Merch booth for Justin Townes Earle and Caitlin Rose recently when they came through town so I caught up with him and recorded this video:

You can pick up his EP here at his website. After getting it I kind of wish he’d chosen Tennessee Time….

Andrew Combs – Tennessee Time


The December podcast will ring out 2009 here on ninebullets. This month there were no themes and no sponsors, just me, a bottle of sweet tea vodka and a huge list of some of my favorite songs of this year. Some made this podcast but most didn’t…not because they were inferior songs, mind you, they just didn’t fit the show. Believe it or not, I do try to maintain even flows throughout these things and avoid too many whiplash tempo changes. Had I made the podcast the day before or the day after I did, it probably would have turned out very, very differently. But I didn’t, and these are the songs that I chose and I’m done apologizing/explaining.

So, here are some of my favorite tracks of 2009 in podcast form. Everyone be safe over the long weekend, nurse your hangovers with the hair of the dog and college bowl games and we’ll see you come 2010.

As always, below you’ll find the track listing for the show. Please tell your friends and Facebook/Twitter followers about it, I’ll greatly appreciate it.

~ Autopsy IV (twitter/facebook/myspace)


  1. Drive-By Truckers – Nine Bullets [00.00.00]
  2. Autopsy IV Commentary [00.04.04]
  3. Scott H. Biram – Sinkin’ Down [00.04.43]
  4. Leroy Powell – Good Morning Little School Girl [00.08.50]
  5. Truckstop Coffee – Laredo Skies [00.13.57]
  6. Autopsy IV Commentary [00.19.02]
  7. Micah Schnabel – Cut Me, Mick [00.20.19]
  8. Chuck Ragan – Rotterdamn [00.23.39]
  9. Matthew Dean Herman – Blackbird [00.26.05]
  10. Drive-By Truckers – Play It All Night Long [00.30.17]
  11. Lucero – Sixes and Sevens [00.35.13]
  12. Tim Barry – Thing Of The Past [00.38.02]
  13. Autopsy IV Commentary [00.42.17]
  14. Cam Penner – Thirteen [00.44.19]
  15. Malcolm Holcombe – A Bigger Plan [00.47.53]
  16. Autopsy IV Commentary [00.50.58]
  17. The Takers – Curse of a Drunk [00.53.08]
  18. Have Gun Will Travel – Wolf In Shepherd’s Clothes [00.57.02]
  19. Autopsy IV Commentary [01.01.41]
  20. Kasey Anderson – I Was A Photograph [01.02.10]

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Well, I guess it’s my turn. Kasey and RSV have already dropped their faves of the year (here and here) on y’all, so there’s just no avoiding it for me now. This year was particularly difficult due to the sheer amount of great music that came out, and had I made this list tomorrow it would certainly change. That said, you can edit forever but eventually you have to settle on something and call it your list. So, with out further ado I am gonna steal RSV’s formatting and get this show on the road:

20. Eilen Jewell – Sea of Tears
19. Those Darlins – Those Darlins
18. Strawfoot – How We Prospered
17. Justin Townes Earl – Midnight at The Movies
16. Malcolm Holcombe – For The Mission Baby
15. Jon Snodgrass – Visitor’s Band
14. Ben Nichols – The Last Pale Light In The West
13. Cam Penner – Trouble and Mercy
12. The Fox Hunt – America’s Working So We Don’t Have To
11. William Elliott Whitmore – Animals In The Dark

Top 10 (with mp3s) are under the cut…

Continue reading “AUTOPSY IV'S FAVORITE 20 ALBUMS OF 2009 (today):”


Last December I posted a compilation of cover songs perfomed by the Drive-By Trucker’s. The original compiler was (and is) of unknown origin but the compilation has just been begging for a follow-up.

Enter Smitty from the DBT mailing list. He’s taken the liberty of assembling a new collection of covers songs culled from the numerous live DBT shows freely available on the internet. He is supposed to have a Vol. 3 already near completion as well as a collection of unreleased DBT originals. I dunno about you, but I’m looking forward to those as well.

Here is the track listing:

  1. Rockin in the Free World (Patterson on lead) (Neil Young)
  2. Holland, 1945 (Neutral Milk Hotel)
  3. I Walk The Line (Johnny Cash)
  4. Mama Bake a Pie (Tom T. Hall)
  5. Louisiana 1927 (Randy Newman)
  6. Glad & Sorry (The Faces)
  7. Everybody Needs Love (Eddie Hinton)
  8. Lonely Women Make Good Lovers (Spooner Oldham)
  9. I’m Your Puppet w/Kelly Hogan (Spooner Oldham)
  10. Where’s Eddie? (Eddie Hinton)
  11. These Arms of Mine (Otis Redding)
  12. D-I-V-O-R-C-E (Tammy Wynette)
  13. I’m in Love with a Girl (Big Star) (Summer Cousins version)
  14. Dressed in White (Malcolm Holcombe)
  15. All These Years (Sawyer Brown) (Summer Cousins version)
  16. Quaalude banter
  17. 867-5309 (Tommy Tutone)

You can download the entire collection here.


Last week Kasey wrote a piece about Tom Russell and I wanted to put this up the very next day. It failed to happen because I am exceptionally lazy and terribly behind. I wanted to put those posts back to back because I think there are a lot of parallels between their careers. Both have been around, seemingly, forever and despite that longevity neither have ever managed to really break into the mainstreams conscience. Hell, it could be argued that they’ve barely even cracked  the conscience of the folks that follow this genre(s) of music.

At one point, Malcolm got pretty close. Even managing to sign a recording contract with Geffen Records before finding shelter in drugs and booze. He spent years building a reputation as being unhinged, unpredictable and all around undesirable on the Nashville scene so Malcolm retreated back to his North Carolina roots where he ultimately sobered up and got back to music. A couple of DIY albums later Malcolm found himself back in the critics graces with 2008’s release, Gamblin’ House. While Gamblin’ House was widely fawned upon by critics it went generally unnoticed by the Americana music purchasing community. Now, in 2009, much like Tom Russell, Malcolm has quite possibly released the best album of his career with For The Mission Baby.

Now, there are two comparisons I hate in music writing. I hate when bands get compared to The Replacements and I hate when singes get compared to Tom Waits. Why? Well, it basically comes down to a case of familiarity meets pretentiousness. The Replacements more so than Waits, but I think they’re sexy names to drop cause fringe music fans know the names but not really the music. Thus I view both as the high fructose corn syrup version of critical credibility. Is that fair? Probably not, but I venture to guess that 99% of all people 25 and under couldn’t pick a Replacements song out of a Beyonce’ lineup. Have I used said comparisons in my own writing? You bet your ass I have and I’m about to do it again…

Whenever I try to describe Malcolm’s voice to others I describe it as “the homeless southern more tone rich cousin of Tom Waits“. There is a lyric in the Drive-By Truckers song, Outfit, that goes, “a southern man tells better jokes“. There is a subtlety to that line that can be found in a rich southern drawl and that’s the subtlety I’m referring to.

Now, Kasey said, “Until further notice, this is the best record of the year” when he opened his piece about Tom’s record so let me officially declare this article, further notice.

Malcolm Holcombe – Bigtime Blues
Malcolm Holcombe – A Bigger Plan
Malcolm Holcombe – Hannah’s Tradin’ Post

Malcolm Holcombe’s Official Site, Malcolm Holcombe on myspace, Buy For The Mission Baby


Here we are. Another month, another podcast. Can you believe it’s been 6 months? Traffic on these is improving a little and that’s raised my spirits about doing them…I know I’m supposed to be all about doing them regardless of the amount of people who listen….and I will be, just as soon as the podcast’s monthly traffic gets in the same neighborhood as’s daily traffic. That said, let’s talk about this month’s podcast.

The moment I sat down and started mapping out what songs I wanted to play this month I started getting excited. It quickly became obvious that this month’s song selection was gonna be the bomb. We got unreleased tracks from The Fox Hunt, Left Lane Cruiser, Carolyn Mark, Malcolm Holcombe, Pete Bernhard (Devil Makes Three) and Chuck Ragan, as well as newborn songs from Chad Price (Drag The River), Mat d. and the Profane Saints, The Builders and The Butchers, The Takers and Lonesome Wyatt (Those Poor Bastards) w/Rachel Brooke.

In the middle of the show I decided to do a set featuring bands who will be performing at Suburban Home‘s 14 Anniversary Weekend Party, which I’ll be attending in 15 days. Hopefully I’ll come back from it with some good stories, good pictures and a few interviews.

And that does it. I’m really happy with this month’s podcast and I think y’all will like it. Do me a favor, though. If you listen and you enjoy the show, please tell other people about it.

Thanks, everyone. ~Autopsy IV (twitter: @autopsy4)


  1. Adams House Cat – Nine Bullets [00.00.00]
  2. Autopsy IV Commentary [04.00.00]
  3. The Fox Hunt – It Suits Me [05.11.00]
  4. Carolyn Mark w/N.Q. Arbuckle – All Time Low [08.03.00]
  5. Lonesome Wyatt & Rachel Brooke – This Painful Summer [11.56.50]
  6. Autopsy IV Commentary [15.48.00]
  7. Chad Price – Cursed [17.30.00]
  8. Jon Snodgrass – Brave With Strangers [21.08.00]
  9. The Takers – Diamond Ring [24.14.00]
  10. Two Cow Garage – Swingset Assassin [27.36.00]
  11. Autopsy IV Commentary [30.28.00]
  12. Chris Knight – Highway Junkie [31.50.00]
  13. Malcolm Holcombe – A Bigger Plan [36.20.00]
  14. Deadstring Brothers – Sao Palo [39.16.00]
  15. Chuck Ragan – Let It Rain [45.04.00]
  16. Autopsy IV Commentary [47.34.00]
  17. Pete Bernhard – Townes [49.48.00]
  18. The Builders and The Butchers – Down in the Hole [53.54.00]
  19. Autopsy IV Commentary [57.40.00]
  20. Left Lane Cruiser – Black Lung [59.30.00]
  21. Mat D & The Profane Saints – Mudflap Mamma [63.54.00]
  22. The Drive-By Truckers – Play It All Night Long [67.02.00]

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