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Speaking in Tongues

Holmes Brothers Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 19.69 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description


Riding on top of their funky, blues-rock instrumental combination, the Holmes Brothers work vocal magic here, digging vigorously into their customary gospel roots. Rich, soulful harmonies and a moving blend of grit and sincerity give Wendell and Sherman Holmes and Popsy Dixon their distinction and power. Their voices suggest depths of religious conviction that get added punch from the band's kicking intensity. "Jesus Is the Way," "Jesus Got His Hooks in Me," "Thank You, Jesus," and "King Jesus Will Roll All Burdens Away" reveal the primary lyrical subject matter of the songs, and they are done with reverence and conviction. Bob Dylan's "Man of Peace," Ben Harper's "I Want to Be Ready," and Gamble-Huff's "Love Train" are also given the Holmes treatment: throaty, heartfelt harmonies layered amid rocking church organ, shimmering guitars, and rich backbeats. And Wendell Holmes's tasty guitar is always around to give the tunes a rockish feel. This is, though, a well-recorded, loving tribute to the gospel music heritage, and the Holmes Brothers prove themselves worthy carriers of that rich tradition. --Wally Shoup


"...'Homeless Child,' is as powerful and soulful as it comes." -- Jimmy Leslie - Gavin, February 16, 2001

"...Mercy me, it's the first great album of 2001." -- Greg Kot - Chicago Tribune, February 11, 2001

"...The Holmes Brothers repeatedly capture the essence of true soul & gospel singing." -- Ron Wynn - The City Paper, Nashville, January 30, 2001

Record of the week - "A fine, fine gospel record...their rhythms take over your body, while their voices go straight for your heart." -- Mark Edwards, Sunday Times

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Joyful Gospel-Funk Sept. 23 2010
Format:Audio CD
I'm not sure why there're no smiles in the picture on the cover of this excellent CD from the Holmes Brothers. It's one of the most jubilant and joyful set of spirituals and contemporary gospel songs I've heard in years. Joan Osborne provides top-notch production and sings in the background. You hear some of the deepest, most soulful sanctified music ever put down. At times sounding rough-edged but heartfelt, there's genuine enthusiasm. You simply must hear the Brothers version of "Can't No Grave Hold My Body Down", a classic traditional gospel song by Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Other covers include Ben Harper, Gamble and Huff, and Bob Dylan. Highly recommended!
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By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Don't pray for me. I don't believe that there is a God but I have no interest in convincing others I am right.
However, I am here to tell you that whether you are secular or religious, if you like 'real' blues this album is a must-have. This is one extraordinarily talented group of hard-driving bluesmen passionately driving home their message of faith, hope, and love. These guys are the real deal!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Relentless and Righteous May 28 2003
Format:Audio CD
The Holmes Brothers will make your feet move and force you into their way of grooving. "Speaking in Tongues" is another fine set that showcases their ability to lay down some mean gospel-tinged music. Whether infusing new life into Dylan's call out of Satan in Man of Peace or churning through both original and traditional tracks, this trio proves they have the chops. (Ben Harper beware: these guys have stamped their names all over their versions of your Homeless Child and I Want to Be Ready.)
Wendell Holmes plays out front on keyboards and guitars, adding flourishes and twists and grace to the tunes. His brother Sherman on bass and "Popsy" Dixon on drums offer counterpoint and power and nuance. This concoction may be gospel-funk at heart, but the blues and rock are part of the mixture also.
The soulful, smoky vocals soar over the music, and each principal takes turns on the mike. The backing vocals work of the Precious Three (Joan Osborne, Catherine Russell, and Maydie Miles) deserves more than a nod, and when all six lift their voices, it's enough to send shivers down the spine of any heathen.
When you listen to this music, the honesty and humility of hard-working, talented musicians shines through. There is no ego burnishing or posturing that mars way too much of what passes for music. Go now and get this CD. Play it for your friends and your enemies, too. They will thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gospel and the blues--a great combination here April 20 2003
Format:Audio CD
The Holmes Brothers are for lovers of the blues, of gospel, or just of melodic and wonderful singing. I believe this is the first gospel CD that I own. Its strong blues influence and its upbeat music (and words) should make this CD a valuable addition to anyone's collection. Enjoy!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Just Not a Holmes Brothers Fan Sept. 25 2002
Format:Audio CD
This is the 2nd Holmes Brothers cd I bought based on the effusive reviews and brief excerpts on Amazon. I have been disappointed twice. My complaint is with the material, it just didn't move me. My recommendation is that you find someplace to listen to this CD in detail before purchasing. You may love it, I didn't.
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Format:Audio CD
These three guys have put out some great music. Tinged with a gospel edge, the blues dominate every song on the album.
And every song on the album is by someone else.
Okay, okay. Many of the greats put out albums filled with nothing but cover tunes. But when they do, they try to present the songs in an original manner: Tori Amos didn't try to sound like Kurt Cobain (and it's a darn good thing she didn't). On this album, the Holmes Brothers don't stray far from the original tunes. It might as well be Ben Harper crooning for Mother Mary, rather than three potentially unique vocalists who are amazing in their own right.
But in the end, who listens to the blues because it's a radically new musical genre packed with ingenuity and revitalizing change? No one! You listen to the blues because you want to hear great music from a genre that hasn't ventured far from its origins in those humid, stifling bars we all imagine to inhabit the Mississippi Delta.
Get this album because it's filled with some amazing blues-- but don't get it expecting wild, new songwriting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally!!! Jan. 28 2002
Format:Audio CD
I am a Christian. I make no bones or apologies about that. As a matter of fact, I am on staff at a church. But usually, each time I hear a contemporary Christian group or singer hit the scene I usually want to do one of two things: 1) apologize to my more secular and humanistic friends for the drivel we've been listening to for the past 20 years, and, 2) puke.
The Holmes Brothers have given me something that I am incredibly proud of: a music for my faith that isn't afraid to get gritty. For so long we as Believers have been accepting the pap that the major Christian labels have given us that it has almost become a mark of orthodoxy. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Sandi Patti, Michael W., and Steven CC as a prime examples. We dare not speak up and call it marketed much less boring or run the risk of being labeled as unregenerate.
Long ago on Saturday Night Live, there was a skit called the "Young Caucasians". For decades that skit has epitomized Christian music for me. It can only be accessable if you are a young white, rich kid who grew up in church. So much for living in the real world filled with degredation and sin.
The Holmes Bros. sound like, feel like, smell like, stink like the real world only with a Heavenly message. And isn't that what Christianity is to be all about?
I don't know anything about these guys. All I know is that there is finally a Christian group that I can get excited about rather than being embarrassed by.
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