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Simple Truths
     

Simple Truths

5.0 1
by The Holmes Brothers
 
The Holmes Brothers have survived through decades of trends, movements, and fads in the popular music business, even though they have never had a hit. The reason for their longstanding career is reflected partially in the title of their CD, Simple Truths. Wendell Holmes’s humorous original, “Run Myself Out of Town,” is a laid-back rocker, as is the Jimmy Reed

Overview

The Holmes Brothers have survived through decades of trends, movements, and fads in the popular music business, even though they have never had a hit. The reason for their longstanding career is reflected partially in the title of their CD, Simple Truths. Wendell Holmes’s humorous original, “Run Myself Out of Town,” is a laid-back rocker, as is the Jimmy Reed hit “Big Boss Man.” Due to their affection for the country music they grew up with, the brothers chose Hank Williams’s “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” which weeps fuzz-toned tears and a searing guitar solo. The Holmeses never leave their gospel-tinged soul far behind, and it often infuses their covers. The acoustic version of the Townes Van Zandt heartbreaker “If I Needed You” comes right out of church, and Gillian Welch’s “Everything Is Free” (one of the best songs ever written about artistic commitment) is in the gospel-folk style. Willie Nelson’s song of obsessive love, “Opportunity to Cry,” is also from the sanctuary. Closer to the looseness of the Holmes Brothers’ former releases is Bruce Channel’s classic “Hey Baby” and Bob Marley’s “Concrete Jungle,” a brilliant selection for singers who have been pounding the streets of New York City for much of their lives. Simple Truths tells their story with no bitterness but hard and sweet looks at its highs and lows. And it takes a lifetime of music to pull off such truths.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
The return to CD of New York's favorite sons, the Holmes Brothers, is a welcome one. Indeed, while fans know what to expect -- a killer mélange of soul, blues, gospel, and funk -- those combinations are always surprising. Sherman and Wendell Holmes and drummer/vocalist Popsy Dixon have opted to work with producer Craig Street (Cassandra Wilson, Joe Henry, Me'Shell NdegéOcello) this time out and enlist a few guests in the guise of pedal steel boss Greg Leisz, bassist David Pilch from the Bill Frisell Band, guitarist Chris Bruce, and the inimitable Patrick Warren on pump organ. The program is one of the most adventurous the band has ever attempted on record, but all of these songs become vehicles for the rootsy, sweet, and deeply emotional Holmes Brothers treatment. The covers are revelatory in scope, including easily the most moving read of Townes Van Zandt's "If I Needed You" ever committed to tape. But it doesn't stop there; they give a similar -- albeit rowdier -- treatment to Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." In addition, the band covers Willie Nelson's classic "Opportunity to Cry" and Gillian Welch's "Everything Is Free" in a late-night fireplace version that makes the songwriter's version sound clinical. But before one gets the idea that this is the Holmes Brothers' alt.country disc, a Delta blues-styled reading of Bob Marley's "Concrete Jungle" and a smoking, roiling, bluesed-out two-step version of the Smith and Dixon R&B stalwart "Big Boss Man" should put those assumptions to rest. But it's Sherman and Wendell's songs that bring the most satisfaction. Wendell's "We Meet, We Part, We Remember" is the greatest pure soul tune recorded thus far in the 21st century. With its Impressions-styled chorus and its James Carr cadence it rips the skin off. His rollicking electric country blues number "You Won't Be Livin' Here Anymore" sounds like an urban garage version of "Big River," and the deep blue Mississippi Delta chamber song "I'm So Lonely" by Sherman closes the record on a mournful whisper that underscores the transcendent message in all Holmes Brothers outings: that no matter who they are and what their circumstances are, people share one great desire, to be loved just for who they are. Sound syrupy? Sound hopelessly out of touch with the times? Then maybe the times need to change, because music like this deserves to be played from every open window. This is the first great record of 2004.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/13/2004
Label:
Alligator Records
UPC:
0014551489320
catalogNumber:
514893
Rank:
142890

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Holmes Brothers   Primary Artist
Chris Bruce   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Soloist
Popsy Dixon   Drums,Vocals
Sherman Holmes   Bass,Vocals
Wendell Holmes   Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Greg Leisz   Acoustic Guitar,national steel guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
David Piltch   Upright Bass
Patrick Warren   Pump Organ

Technical Credits

Willie Nelson   Composer
Bob Marley   Composer
J.J. Cale   Composer
Bruce Channel   Composer
Robert C. Smith   Composer
Jerry Allison   Composer
Joe Allison   Composer
Ed Roland   Composer
Craig Street   Producer
Townes Van Zandt   Composer
Hank Williams   Composer
Paul Kahn   Executive Producer
Gillian Welch   Composer
Luther Dixon   Composer
David Rawlings   Composer
S. "Husky" Hoskulds   Engineer
Audrey Allison   Composer
Margaret Cobb   Composer
S. Holmes   Composer
Jason Mott   Engineer
Josh Stoltzfus   Logistics

Customer Reviews

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Simple Truths 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cd is a gem, have you ever noticed how you can put Bob Marley on with any group of people and it always works? Well this cd is like that, great, feel good music, but not bubblegum - deep lyrics and wonderful musicianship. Craig Street and Husky Huskolds bring a texture and sound that deepens the intense pleasure of listening.