LIVE: The Holmes Brothers @ the Falcon, 4/19/14

April 28th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
Wendell Holmes

Wendell Holmes

Photographs by Rudy Lu

The Holmes Brothers rocked the Falcon in Marlboro on a recent Saturday night (April 19) with a rousing concert celebrating the release of their brand new album, Brotherhood. The trio – brothers Sherman and Wendell Holmes along with drummer Popsy Dixon – played a mixture of originals and standards. Their unique blend of gospel, blues, country, funk and doo-wop captivated the audience throughout the two-set show.

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BEST OF 2013: Fred Rudofsky’s Best Albums of 2013

December 26th, 2013, 3:00 pm by Greg

Reviews by Fred Rudofsky

In 2013, I saw a lot of music and I bought a lot of music – yes, I’m that 21st century Luddite who still believes in owning a physical copy of an album, on CD or LP. There are a few albums that I’m sure would have made my list that I just haven’t picked up yet, but here’s a baker’s dozen of where it stands as of today… and a list of other noteworthy titles to consider as well. (Note: archival, box set and/ or reissue albums will appear on another list):

The Holmes Brothers: Brotherhood1.) THE HOLMES BROTHERS: Brotherhood (Alligator Records)
Available in Europe, but oddly not in the USA til April 2014, this album is tremendous from start to finish, as all the albums in the Holmes Brothers’ catalog have been since 1989. Blues (“My Word is My Bond,” “Passing Through”), soul (“Soldier of Love,” “My Kind of Girl”), folk (a superb cover of Ted Hawkins’ “I Gave Up All I Had”) and gospel (“Amazing Grace”) – they can do it all, and their three-part harmonies have no rival. Wendell Holmes sings and plays guitar with swagger; Sherman Holmes sings with warmth and plays some of the coolest bass lines around; and Popsy Dixon hits falsetto notes as deftly as he plays the drums. Do what I did: buy the album online, and be sure to order a few copies for friends and family.

Candye Kane: Coming Out Swingin'2.) CANDYE KANE (FEATURING LAURA CHAVEZ): Coming Out Swingin’ (Vizztone)
The self-proclaimed “Toughest Girl Alive” (her five-year battle against pancreatic cancer is a profile in courage and an endorsement for the healing power of music) cuts a jubilant blues album live and direct to analog, with a fine group of musicians, most notably, Laura Chavez, a guitarist who deserves the press coverage that has been given lately to Gary Clark, Jr. and Joe Bonamassa. Kane’s vivacious and sanguine, delivering several originals (check out the title cut, “Rise Up!” and “Barbed Wire Mouth”) alongside choice covers of Benny Carter, Rick Estrin and Lala Guerrero. It’s a life-affirming album for any occasion.

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LIVE: The Holmes Brothers @ Club Helsinki, 7/5/13

July 15th, 2013, 3:00 pm by Greg

Review by Fred Rudofsky

True to form, the Holmes Brothers packed Club Helsinki in Hudson on a Friday night earlier this month. Although no room had been set aside on the floor for dancing, the music for over two hours stirred the soul with originals, diverse covers and a pair of songs which will appear on their next album.

It’s no wonder that “Amazing Grace” takes on such a potent meaning when this trio harmonizes – they have been through everything in their decades together, and the last time they were in Hudson, Irene was making her way up the East Coast. Wendell Holmes led the way, his gruff tenor and impeccable rhythm/lead playing on a Telecaster pulling the full house into his smile of gratitude. Sherman Holmes played bass with superb reserve, letting the fullest notes ring out and offering deft counterpoints to the melody. Drummer Popsy Dixon established a beat that was simultaneously tight and loose, and his ageless falsetto on an extended recap of the first verse and during harmonized interludes drew strong applause.

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LIVE: The Holmes Brothers @ Club Helsinki Hudson, 3/5/11

March 7th, 2011, 3:50 pm by Sara

“It’s so good to be back with our family!” exclaimed Popsy Dixon early during the Holmes Brothers’ highly-anticipated show at Club Helsinki. The feeling was mutual, as the jam-packed audience, ages 5 to 70, long-time fans and newbies, filled the dance floor throughout the night to enjoy a rousing mix of blues, soul, country and gospel.

The Holmes Brothers – featuring Dixon (drums) and brothers Wendell Holmes (guitar and keyboard) and Sherman Holmes (bass) – were perennial visitors to the previous incarnation of the venue in Great Barrington, as the club’s owner pointed out on Saturday in Hudson. Understandably moved by the ecstatic introduction and sheer beauty of the new place, the band opened with “Amazing Grace,” which showcased the hallmarks of their sound – charismatic lead singing, telepathic harmonies and impeccable musicianship – and followed it with a rollicking “Do Lord, Lord Remember Me.”

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Sherman Holmes, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

March 1st, 2010, 2:58 pm by Greg

Sherman Holmes

(photo © Beate Sandor)

“The first record I bought was the Modern Jazz Quartet album with Sonny Rollins.

“Oh, and a lot of classical music, too.”

Bassist-vocalist Sherman Holmes and his bandmates in the Holmes Brothers step into the spotlight at The Egg in Albany on Friday (March 5), in support of their new album, “Feed My Soul.” Sharing the stage will be Scrapomatic.

Holly & EvanThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysAdvertise on Nippertown!Berkshire On StageG.C. Haymes