Stuart's Hosts Holmes Brothers for Annual Fundraiser

By
Mark Hellenberg

Dateline
Updated Wed, Nov 9, 2011 9:20 am
The Holmes Brothers
Mark Hellenberg interviews Wendell Holmes

Stuart's Opera House will host the legendary Holmes Brothers on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 8:30 p.m. The concert is part of Stuart's annual fall fundraiser, which also includes a silent auction and light hors d'oeuvres.

The Holmes Brothers, a trio of siblings Wendell and Sherman Holmes and their honorary brother, Popsy Dixon, have been performing since 1979.

In the early days of the band, they took a gig at Dan Lynch's restaurant in New York City. They helped turn that venue into a renowned blues club that established Joan Osborne, Poppa Chubby, The Spin Doctors and Blues Traveler.

In 1989, producer and blues harmonica player Andy Breslau brought the band to Rounder Records where they recorded their debut album, In the Spirit.

"Things are better for us now, but we do the same thing," said Wendell, looking back on those days. "We write, we play, we cover some songs." 

The songs they play range from blues, gospel, and R&B to rock and country. "We love country music," said Wendell. "We grew up in Virginia. The black stations had very few watts and the white stations had 50,000 watts, so you'd be listening to Jimmy Reed and all of a sudden, here comes Hank Williams loud and clear, so you had to like it or not like it. We chose to like it."

The group was heavily influenced by gospel, but never strayed too far from the blues. "We grew up in the church. For a long time the church didn't grow up in us but it's in us now."

However, Wendell reminds people that Jesus turned water into wine and not the other way around. "He liked a good party," he said.

For more information, visit www.stuartsoperahouse.org.

Photo Credit: 
Stefan Falke
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