Album review: DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS – Medicine


Magnolia Music [Release date 26.01.15]

With a Divinity Masters degree from St Andrews, and a dissertation on ‘Springsteen and American Redemptive Imagination’ under his belt, it’s clear where Southern singer songwriter Drew Holcomb’s heart lies.

His 2005 debut Washed In Blue benefitted from TV placements in Army Wives, United States of Tara, and The Cleaner and, along with extensive touring and further major TV placements he and The Neigbors have established themselves in the indie Americana market.

Their last album Good light (2013) – their most successful to date – took a stab at the middle-America mainstream with a style that melded elements of Springsteen, Ryan Adams (circa Gold) and Bruce Hornsby, albeit with a slight contemporary twist.

10 years after setting out on his journey, Holcomb takes a turns off the main highway with his latest release, Medicine.

The subtle elements of Hornsby and Adams are still present, but Holcomb’s vocals are moved to the fore and, combined with a poised display from the Neighbors, the effect is to edge the overall sound into the space currently dominated by the likes of Damien Rice and Ray La Montagne.

And it’s a style that Holcomb’s plaintive vocals are perfectly suited to – even his heavily bearded and Panama hatted appearance seem made for it.

It’s a sound that’s currently in vogue, and combined with the more uptempo numbers could prove a winning combination for Holcolmb.  Medicine is his best album yet and even the casual listener could only be impressed by the very polished performance.  ***1/2

Review by Pete Whalley

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In this show, first broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 2 February 2020, David Randall plays a selection of tracks from some of the artists who impressed at this year’s Giants Of Rock event in Minehead (24-27 January).

Featured Albums w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 NEWMAN Ignition (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 BLACK SWAN Shake The World (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 CORMAC O CAOIMH Swim Crawl Walk Run (indie)

Power Plays w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)

SHAKRA Turn The Light On (AFM Records)
THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Transmissions (Nuclear Blast)
RYDERS CREED Lost Soul (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)
FRAMING HANLEY Puzzle Pieces (Thermal Entertainment LLC)
ROBERT HART Mysterious (Escape Music)

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