The Holmes Brothers

Where sublime gospel meets juke-joint blues, The Holmes Brothers had a rare talent for drawing fresh joy, love and pain out of even the oldest material.

The Holmes Brothers, an American musical trio originally hailing from Christchurch, Virginia, blended elements of blues, soul, gospel, country, and rhythm & blues into their distinctive, potent sound.

Over the years they recorded with Van Morrison, Peter Gabriel, Odetta, Phoebe Snow, Willie Nelson, Freddie Roulette, Rosanne Cash, Levon Helm and Joan Osborne, to name a few. They toured the world, playing major festivals and concert halls, and won numerous awards.

The Holmes Brothers’ timeless music is tight, the vocals rich and warm, and the overall effect is disciplined yet deeply soulful and utterly infectious.

Drummer Willie “Popsy” Dixon died in January 2015 of cancer. In April of the same year, Wendell Holmes, the band’s vocalist, guitarist, pianist and songwriter, announced his retirement from performing due to health concerns, and passed away in the June.

Oldest brother Sherman Holmes continues to write, record and perform with The Sherman Holmes Project.

Further reading

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A musical collaboration between two members of The Gloaming, the album is out in September.

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Real World is partnering with NTS Radio on their Work in Progress Artist Development Programme.

Track of the day: ‘Áthas’ by The Gloaming

Find out more about one of the stand-out tracks on The Gloaming's third album.

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American photographer Saul Leiter's work features on the cover of an upcoming Real World release.