The Holmes Brothers Celebrates New Release with Live Performance in Camden


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The Holmes Brothers -- bassist/vocalist Sherman Holmes, his brother, guitarist/vocalist Wendell Holmes, and drummer/vocalist Popsy Dixon -- will celebrate the release of their new CD, Feed My Soul, with a live performance in Camden on Sunday, July 18, 2010. Feed My Soul features the band's exhilarating, spine-tingling harmonies, boundless energy and telepathic musicianship over the course of nine originals (the most they've ever penned for an album). Concert information is as follows:

Sunday, July 18: 88.5 WXPN presents: Xponential Music Festival 2010; Jerseyarts.com Marina Stage; Wiggins Park, Camden Waterfront Camden, NJ; 215-898-6677; Time: TBA.

Single day pass: WXPN members: $15 advance ($20 day of show) / general: $25 advance ($30 day of show) / children ages 2 - 12: $5 per day; www.xpn.org; **Please see website for complete festival line-up and ticketing information

From winning multiple Blues Music Awards to sharing stages and recordings with Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Willie Nelson, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel and others, The Holmes Brothers have seemingly done it all. Recently though, The Holmes Brothers confronted a stark reality when brother Wendell was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. Tight-knit on and off the stage, they found strength in their family, friendship and faith to overcome this setback.

With Wendell's victory over the disease, the group emerged fully energized and inspired to create the deepest, most original, most satisfying album of their career. Feed My Soul, produced by longtime friend of the band and platinum-selling artist Joan Osborne, is an album born from this harrowing experience. The songs 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.

Helping to shape Feed My Soul are the strength and deep roots of the Holmes family. 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. Dixon sat in with the brothers and sang two songs. “After that second song," recalls Wendell, “Popsy was a brother."

Since their debut on Rounder in 1989, The Holmes Brothers have worked virtually non-stop. In addition to their four critically acclaimed Rounder albums, they recorded Jubilation for Peter Gabriel's Real World label in 1992, becoming the first American group to record for the standout world music imprint. In 1994 they joined Van Morrison in the studio on the song “That's Where It's At" for the Real World compilation album, A Week Or Two In The Real World. 1996 found The Holmes Brothers starring in the independent motion picture Lotto Land, for which they also recorded the soundtrack

After signing with Alligator in 2001, The Holmes Brothers released the magnificent Speaking In Tongues, produced by Osborne, who also sang backup vocals throughout. With help from Grammy-winning engineer Trina Shoemaker (Sheryl Crow's The Globe Sessions), The Holmes Brothers created a contemporary album of spiritual soul music. Response to Speaking In Tongues was phenomenal. The Holmes Brothers appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman, The CBS Saturday Early Show, as well as National Public Radio's Weekend Edition, A Prairie Home Companion and Mountain Stage. Greg Kot of The Chicago Tribune called it a “joyous, foot-stomping carnival -- a gift to the world of music."

2004's Simple Truths found The Holmes Brothers receiving even more attention. They appeared on Outlaws And Angels: The Willie Nelson and Friends 3rd Annual Birthday Concert (televised on the USA Network and released on CD and DVD), Late Night With Conan O'Brien, World Cafe, Mountain Stage, as well as the National Public Radio programs All Things Considered, On Point and Here And Now. They won the coveted Blues Music Award from the Memphis-based Blues Foundation for Band Of The Year in 2005.

2007's State Of Grace continued the upward trend. Again the band again performed on Late Night With Conan O'Brien. Features and reviews ran in USA Today, The New York Times, Billboard, Time Out New York, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker and many other publications. The album won the Blues Music Award for Soul Blues Album Of The Year. Rolling Stone called the album “impressive, fervent country soul." Since the release of State Of Grace, The Holmes Brothers' popularity with fans and fellow musicians has continued to grow. They performed at Carnegie Hall's Tribute To Bruce Springsteen concert, featuring Steve Earle, Patti Smith, The Hold Steady, Josh Ritter and many others.

With their deeply soulful singing, uplifting harmonies and unsurpassed musicianship, The Holmes Brothers continue to grow as artists. Billboard declares, “It seems like The Holmes Brothers get more assured and exciting with each passing year. They remain a musical force unto themselves." Triumphing over adversity led directly to the creation of Feed My Soul, as the band turned what may have been a career-ending event into the best album in their long history. With the depth of the songwriting and the power of their performances on this new album, The Holmes Brothers serve their extended family of devoted listeners a rich musical banquet for the soul.

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