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The Richmond Sessions came out on July 21, marking the solo debut recording of Sherman Holmes, at mere 77 years of age.
From the late 1970s until 2015, The Holmes Brothers were one of the most beloved and eclectic groups working in the overlapping terrain between gospel, blues, soul and country. They recorded for Alligator and Rounder Records and played leading festivals all over the world.
Then guitarist Wendell Holmes and drummer Popsy Dixon both passed away. Sherman reflects on the loss in an official promotional video for his new album.
“The last words he said to me boy, was, ‘We’ll always be brothers.” And the last words my brother Wendell said to me – and I didn’t know he was going to die the next day – he said, “Boy, you’re the best brother a man could ever have.'”
Two years after the double loss, the veteran has regrouped with this new release under the name The Sherman Holmes Project.
The album’s title nods to the capital city of the Holmes family’s native state. The Richmond Sessions calls on Virginia talents including singers The Ingramettes, Richmond’s First Family of Gospel, as well as record producer John Lohman, the Virginia state folklorist.
Lohman helped steer the artist in something of a new direction in a collaboration with a studio band heavy on bluegrass and string band talent, including dobro award winner Rob Ickes. Holmes sings Vince Gill’s “Liza Jane,” Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Green River” and a duet with his long time friend Joan Osborne on Dan Penn’s classic “Dark End of the Street.”
Sherman Holmes will perform with Rob Ickes and others on the August 2 edition of Music City Roots.