Feed My Soul
Wendell and Sherman Holmes, along with Popsy Dixon began playing together as The Holmes Brothers more than 30 years ago. In that time they’ve created a unique niche for themselves with their blend of blues, soul, country and gospel music. Following Wendell Holmes’ battle with bladder cancer, the trio has found the silver lining in adversity by recording what they refer to as an album of legacy and hope.
Sherman and Wendell Holmes grew up in Virginia, listening to American roots music which encompassed church music as well as the songs on country radio. This wide range of influence still can be heard in their music as well as strains of rhythm and blues. What separates this album from past releases is the quality of the songwriting; there is a level of intensity, depth, and spirituality to these songs unmatched on earlier releases. This isn’t to suggest that the band has recorded church music. Feed My Soul is inspired by a near death experience that casts a new light on the experience of living.
While recovering from chemotherapy Wendell Holmes spent time writing material for the album and it is these 7 songs that anchor the recording. Several tracks, although influenced by his episode with cancer, don’t deal specifically with the struggle. “Living is the Best Revenge” is about moving beyond setbacks while “Feed My Soul” is an appreciation of love that lasts through adversity. “Fair Weather Friend” offers the flip-side; it is a reproach of those who deserted Holmes during his ordeal. “Edge of the Ledge” is a bluesy rock number about the economy, and “I Believe You I Think” is a sarcastic look at a cheating lover. “Rounding Third” is Wendell’s most specific song about cancer although he never names it, but when he writes “You tried to lay me in my grave/but I’m here, baby, I got the save,” it’s pretty obvious.
Sherman Holmes also contributes several tracks including the thoughtful “I Saw Your Face” and “Dark Cloud,” a scalding call out off national leaders. The trio takes on several covers including an innovative take on the Beatles “I’ll Be Back,” and John Ellison’s “Something Is Missing.” Joan Osborne, a long time friend of the band, takes on production duties - the 2nd time she’s done so for the Holmes. Her touch is light, keeping the focus on the trio’s harmonies. She also sings back-up on 9 tracks.