The Holmes Brothers

State of Grace (Alligator)

SXSW Platters

The Holmes Brothers

State of Grace (Alligator)

No surprise that Willie Nelson, Van Morrison, and Peter Gabriel wanted to perform with NYC's Holmes Brothers. The trio – skinbeater/singer Popsy Dixon, low-end shepherd/vox Sherman Holmes, and strummer/ivory tickler/vocalist Wendell Holmes – is an out-and-out jukebox of African-American music. More proof on State of Grace, their 10th album since 1990: spirituals ("I've Just Seen the Rock of Ages"), blues ("Close the Door"), doo-wop ("Three Gray Walls"), and Creole ("Bad Moon Rising"). While accomplished composers, the threepiece knows a good song when they meet it, realizing works by John Fogerty, Cheap Trick, Hank Williams, Nick Lowe, George Jones, and Lyle Lovett. Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me" is a perfect example. The brethren version is a tender, harmony-fueled, torch song. The brothers also secure cameos by Joan Osborne, Levon Helm, and Rosanne Cash. Again, no surprise that State of Grace deposits another feather in the Holmes Brothers plume-heavy hat. (Wednesday, March 14, Parish, 10pm)

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