The Holmes Brothers

Gospel, blues, and R&B rolled into a "pop grab bag"

If you lived in Manhattan during the '80s, it was almost unthinkable that you could go out to a club or bar and not hear the blues. The generous called it a blues boom, but aesthetically it was a blues glut -- too many musicians playing too many shuffles in E for too many yuppies. But back then, it was possible to console yourself with the genuine article whenever the Holmes Brothers played. You could catch 'em at some small dive bar almost every night of the week. One of the nicest things that has happened since then is seeing Sherman and Wendell Holmes, along with drummer Popsy Dixon, become international blues ambassadors and get booked as "World Music" on Peter Gabriel tours. Their latest album, Simple Truths, even finds them infusing their blend of gospel, blues and R&B into a strange grab bag of pop material, such as Bruce Channel's 1963 hit "Hey Baby," Gillian Welch's "Everything Is Free," and Collective Soul's "Shine." And their sustained enthusiasm after 25 years leads you to believe that maybe these guys are just getting started.

 
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