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Speaking in Tongues

4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 6 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Stony Plain
  • ASIN: B0000YUUAQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #115,906 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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 --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Audio CD
For more than 10 years the rhythmic bass of Sherman Holmes, the driving guitar of Wendell Holmes, the drums of Popsy Dixon and the group's soaring vocals have consistently pushed the envelope of what it means to have soul. On this newest CD, the group has now managed to show us what it means to be spirit filled. Like 1992's "Jubilation", the group offers up its trademark combination of traditional gospel, blues, and juke-joint funk and in the process has managed to re-define the meaning of the word "sanctified" providing an example of what Christian Music really could be if it wasn't so afraid of its own humanity.
As with past disks, the group mixes up a potent stew of the original, the traditional, and the contemporary with an infectious energy that never ceases. On this disk, the four original songs written by Sherman and Wendell Holmes have the feel of old time gospel and sit solidly beside traditional favorites like "Thank you Jesus" and "Farther Along". Also included are songs by Ben Harper and Bob Dylan. Harper's "I Shall Not Walk Alone" is presented as a soulful ballad of comfort that tenderly offers up the hope of salvation. Bob Dylan's "Man of Peace" with its tambourine and organ takes you into a Sunday Afternoon gospel tent-revival and the trio's soul-drenched version of the 60's soul anthem "Soul Train" with its slyly sensual vocals is worth the price of the whole CD.
The Holmes Brother's interplay of Pentecostal gospel, funk, blues, and soul takes the listener on an uplifting journey through southern churches and the revival tent providing us with a glimpse of Americana along the way. If this disk fails to move both your body and your soul and bring you closer to your maker then it is only because you have no pulse. For both the believer and the non-believer the music of the Holmes Brothers can be summed up in a single word: Amen.
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