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Feed My Soul

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Album Review

Feed My Soul is the Holmes Brothers’ fourth album for Alligator Records, and like the trio’s first release for the label, Speaking in Tongues, it was produced by longtime friend Joan Osborne, who also adds background vocals on several cuts. Nothing here is startlingly different than what the Holmes Brothers have been doing all along, which is a good thing, really, because the group’s joyous fusion of gospel, R&B, and soul is remarkably comforting and durable. For Feed My Soul, though, Wendell Holmes, Popsy Dixon, and Sherman Holmes, sparked by Wendell’s recent battle with cancer, seem to have found even deeper wells of compassion and wisdom, and if this album isn’t markedly different than the group’s earlier ones, it feels somehow broader and more resilient, and even more hopeful and determined — which is saying something, because these guys are all about being positive and keeping on no matter how dark the clouds are. There’s so much to like with this release, from the State-of-the-Union “Edge of the Ledge” to the wry “You’re the Kind of Trouble,” the stately devotion of “Pledging My Love,” and the jaw-dropping re-imagining of the Beatles’ “I’ll Be Back.” Imagine the Band playing with a deep dose of gospel in the veins at a Saturday night dancehall with half an eye on having a whole lot of fun and half an eye on redemption. Call it R&B, soul, or gospel, it doesn’t matter. It resonates deeply.


Formed: 1980 in New York, NY

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Holmes Brothers' unique synthesis of gospel-inflected R&B harmonies, accompanied by good drumming and rhythm-based guitar playing, gives them a down-home rural feeling that no other touring roots music group can duplicate. Brothers Sherman and Wendell Holmes, along with drummer Popsy Dixon (the falsetto voice), are the group's core members, although they occasionally tour with extra musicians. All three harmonize well together. The Holmes Brothers are so versatile, they're booked solid every...
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Feed My Soul, The Holmes Brothers
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