11 February 2004
2004 marks the 25th anniversary of the celebrated blues group The Holmes Brothers. To mark that occasion, The Holmes Brothers have released a new album titled Simple Truths, featuring their trademark blend of gospel, soul and blues.
Born the sons of schoolteachers in Virginia, Wendell and Sherman Holmes were introduced to Baptist hymns, spirituals and blues at an early age. In addition to singing in the church choir, Sherman studied piano, clarinet and bass, while Wendell learned to play organ and guitar. Their first group, The Sevilles, was the opening act for R&B legends The Impressions, John Lee Hooker and Jerry Butler. When The Sevilles disbanded, Wendell and Sherman joined forces with drummer and fellow Virginian Popsy Dixon and The Holmes Brothers was formed.
After years of working on the road and in New York City nightclubs, The Holmes Brothers made their major label debut with Rounder Records in 1989. Since then, they've released numerous hit albums, toured internationally, starred in an independent motion picture, and contributed songs to the television soundtrack Crossing Jordan. Some of their collaborators in the studio and on stage include Van Morrison, Joan Osborne, and Norah Jones' guitarist Adam Levy.
Making the jump to Alligator Records in 2001 sparked an even greater appreciation for The Holmes Brothers. They released Speaking In Tongues, an album that generated critical acclaim for their dazzling musicianship and soulful three-part harmonies.
With Simple Truths, The Holmes Brothers continue to explore a variety of roots-based styles, including reggae with the Bob Marley classic, Concrete Jungle.
Another one of the Holmes Brothers' influences was country and western music. On their new album, Wendell, Sherman and Popsy pay tribute to country legend Hank Williams with I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry.
The Holmes Brothers 25th Anniversary tour will take the group to more than 20 U.S. cities as well as France and Holland over the next three months.