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The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » September 30, 2011
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Blues Legends in Action
September 30, 2011   
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As every fall season, the Era Jazzu concert agency is preparing a nationwide concert tour by music stars. This year’s tour will feature the legendary U.S. band The Holmes Brothers.

Over the course of their 30-plus-year career, The Holmes Brothers (bassist/vocalist Sherman Holmes, guitarist/pianist/vocalist Wendell Holmes, drummer/vocalist and “brother-in-spirit” Popsy Dixon) have been feeding the souls of their devoted and ever-growing fan base with a joyous and moving blend of blues, gospel, soul, R&B, rock’n’roll and country. Their amazing three-part harmony singing, mixing Wendell’s gruff and gravelly vocals with Popsy’s soaring falsetto and Sherman’s rich baritone, brings the soul and spirit of gospel music into everything 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 easily blends Saturday night’s roadhouse rock with the gospel fervor and harmonies of Sunday morning’s church service.

The Holmes Brothers have won multiple Blues Music Awards and shared stages and recordings with the likes of Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, and Willie Nelson.

The band’s most recent album, Feed My Soul (2010), produced by their longtime friend and collaborator Joan Osborne, features songs that deal with friendship, loyalty, family, aging, illness, as well as politics and the current state of the world, while still maintaining the patented Holmes Brothers sense of humor.

Sherman and Wendell Holmes were raised in Christchurch, Virginia. Their schoolteacher parents fostered the boys’ early interest in music as they listened to traditional Baptist hymns, anthems and spirituals as well as blues music by Jimmy Reed, Junior Parker and B.B. King. Sherman studied composition and music theory at Virginia State University, but in 1959 he dropped out and headed to New York for a promising job with a singer named Jimmy Jones (of Handy Man fame). His younger brother Wendell joined him in New York after completing high school. The two brothers played in a few bands before forming The Sevilles in 1963. The group lasted only three years, but they often backed up touring artists like The Impressions, John Lee Hooker and Jerry Butler, gaining a wealth of experience. Sherman and Wendell met drummer Popsy Dixon, a fellow Virginian, at a New York gig in 1967. In 1979, the three officially joined forces and formed The Holmes Brothers band.

Fans partial to the magic of the Chicago blues, the timeless energy of rhythm’n’blues and the vitality of gospel music and jazz should catch The Holmes Brothers at their Era Jazzu tour comprising gigs in Warsaw (Palladium—Nov. 4), Gdynia (Klub Ucho—Nov. 5), Poznań (Blue Note—Nov. 6), ŁódĽ (Wytwórnia—Nov. 7), and Cracow (Lizard King—Nov. 8).

More info at www.jazz.pl
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