Date: Sunday, Nov 13th, 2011
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Stuart’s Opera House
The Holmes Brothers – Wendell Holmes (guitarist/pianist/vocalist/songwriter), Sherman Holmes (bassist/ vocalist/songwriter) and brother-in-spirit Popsy Dixon (drummer/vocalist) – are true treasures of American roots music. For 35 years, The Holmes Brothers’ joyous and moving blend of blues, gospel, soul, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and country has been captivating audiences around the world. Their spine-tingling three-part harmony singing, mixing Wendell’s gruff and gravelly vocals with Popsy’s soaring falsetto and Sherman’s rich baritone, brings the spirit of gospel-inflected deep soul music into every song they perform. Equally gripping is the rhythmic foundation laid down by Sherman’s bass playing and Popsy’s drumming, perfectly complementing Wendell’s blues-soaked guitar solos and church-inspired piano playing. The band expertly blends Saturday night’s roadhouse rock and blues with the gospel passion of Sunday morning’s church service. Rolling Stone says The Holmes Brothers play “impressive, fervent country soul.” Entertainment Weekly goes farther, declaring “The Holmes Brothers are juke joint vets with a brazenly borderless view of American music…timeless and rapturous.”
The band’s new Alligator Records album, Brotherhood, was produced by Glenn Patscha (Ollabelle, Marc Cohn), Chris Bruce (Me’Shell Ndegeocello, Seal) and Hector Castillo (Brazilian Girls, David Bowie). It is another stellar chapter in The Holmes Brothers’ storied and still-evolving history. It’s also their most bluesy album to date, filled with roadhouse wisdom, late-night doo wop, a proto rock ‘n’ roll punch, soulful R&B and closing with an amazing dose of Sunday morning spirit. Featuring fourteen songs — including eight new Holmes Brothers originals and six carefully-chosen covers — Brotherhood finds The Holmes Brothers at the absolute top of their game, creating timeless roots music. The album is full of deeply soulful performances, from the rocking Wendell original “Stayed At The Party” to the sweet harmonies of Ted Hawkins’ “I Gave Up All I Had” to Sherman’s intense “Passing Through” to the doo wop splendor of Popsy’s vocals on the Stax classic “My Kind Of Girl.” The band closes Brotherhood with their most requested song – and a highlight of each and every live performance – the soul-stirring “Amazing Grace.” Brotherhood is a testament to the uplifting musical power that comes from the close-knit, fraternally telepathic relationship of The Holmes Brothers. The New York Times declares their music “deeply soulful, uplifting and timeless.”
The Holmes Brothers have seemingly done it all — from winning multiple Blues Music Awards to sharing stages and recordings with Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Joan Osborne, Willie Nelson, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Al Green, Ben Harper, Lucinda Williams, and Steve Earle. With Brotherhood, The Holmes Brothers prove yet again they are, as USA Today says, “glorious…full of soul and surprises.”
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