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April 2010

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The Holmes Brothers
Feed My Soul
Alligator Records

The Holmes Brothers

Listening to a Holmes Brothers record is like savoring a fine wine, you want to take it in just a little bit at a time and enjoy the experience before the bottle ends up empty. Feed My Soul is an excellent disc and I’m glad it found its way to my mailbox. So let’s see what’s going on.

Sherman Holmes starts us out with “Dark Cloud,” a reflection of the changing times in our country and the need to figure out where everyone stands on the issues. “Tell me…tell me...tell me where you stand!" Times are tough and whatever your views are, it’s important to be heard. Wendell shares this theme of tough times in the next cut, “Edge of the Ledge.” “Everything was good…everything was fine…I was flying high…now I’ve come down…my money said bye…bye…bye!” Times are tough and Wendell Holmes has been affected as much as anyone else, so he’s…”standing on my head at the end of the ledge!”

The title cut, “Feed My Soul,” is next, and Wendell is here to tell us that the love of a good woman will see you through most anything, “you feed my soul…deep down within…when I think you’ve given it all, babe….you start all over again!” Money will come and go but true love and commitment will get you by. And then again, every once in a while… a man’s just got to be bad as we find on “You’re the Kind of Trouble.” “You’re the kind of trouble that’s hard to resist…I hate to think of all the fun I missed…I’ve heard the rumors…I hope they’re true…cause you’re the kind of trouble I could get in to!”

Up next is “Something is Missing.” Here we find that Popsy Dixon is letting us know that regardless of the all the possessions one might have, without love in your life, you’ve got nothing at all. “Without love…in your life…something is missing!” Missing indeed. Wendell is back to impart some of the wisdom he gained from his brother after a relationship went bad. “Get yourself up…dust yourself off…living well is the best revenge!” Failure’s not the end so get yourself up, dust yourself off and get back out there.

Sherman’s back to sing us a lovely ballad, “I Saw Your Face.” “I touched the wind, it brought me you again… and taught me that love is here to stand, love is here today.” Moving on, Glenn Patscha’s work on the B3 stands out as Wendell reconsiders a love that’s gone by in “I Believe You I Think.” “If you don’t stop your stuff…our love will never be…although your record stinks…I believe you I think!”

“Fair Weather Friend” finds Wendell wondering where his friend has run off to. The doctor says he’s got cancer and the support of his friend is important. “Where have you been…my fair weather friend…my back’s against the wall…you slipped away again…friends are forever…they stick 'til the end…where have you been…my fair weather friend!” It’s the friends who are there for the hard times that matter most, it’s sad that Wendell’s search is for the support of a fair weather friend.

Woman troubles rear their ugly head next when Wendell runs into his friend at the bar. Woman’s been bad, she’s cheating, enough is enough. So it’s time to “Put My Foot Down.” His friend’s advice is simple enough, “Now is no time for you to pass the buck…you’ve got to put your foot down…so you can hold your head up!” Wendell is walking away with his dignity intact and a better man for doing so.

The Holmes Brothers cover the Lennon/McCartney song “I’ll Be Back” before moving on to “Pledging My Love,” a ballad by Don Robey and Ferdinand Washington. “Making you happy…is my desire, dear…keeping you is…is my goal…I’ll forever love you…for the rest of my days.” A very beautiful ballad and the emotion of Wendell’s guitar just carries it through to its conclusion.

Feed My Soul closes with a rousing “Rounding Third” featuring the harp work of Andy Breslau, “Bye bye…so long…I’m glad you’re gone…good riddance….I’m rounding third…I’m heading home!” Following is the spiritual, “Take Me Away.” “Take me away, oh Lord…take me away…I will prepare today, take me away!” A beautiful song by Paul Kahn, Popsy’s vocals are spot on, it’s the perfect end to a great disc.

Feed My Soul has been one of the first great discs of 2010 and I’m sure it will probably find its way onto my top 10 list when the year is said and done. It doesn’t get much better than a disc by the Holmes Brothers, and Feed My Soul is beautifully done. You can grab a copy from the Holmes Brothers themselves out on the road or order a copy from their website, Either way; this is one disc you’re definitely going to enjoy. I know I did.

--- Kyle Deibler


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