This album’s chock full of solid musicianship, including stylish guitar from co-producer Chris Bruce. Yet the story here, as it is on all Holmes Brothers records, is the vocals and the songs. Sherman and Wendell Holmes, plus Popsy Dixon, fill everything they do with soul and make it irresistible.
Check out the angelic singing on their cover of the Ted Hawkins chestnut “I Gave Up All I Had.” It’s just vocals, acoustic guitar, and keyboards. Yet in their hands, it’s a masterpiece.
It’s hard to play favorites on a record with 14 great cuts. You could choose the revival feel and relatable lyrics of “Stayed At The Party.” Or if funk is your thing, “Passing Through” and “Lickety Split” with Bruce’s popping guitar, easily pass that test. “My Word Is My Bond” is a blues tour de force, with Bruce matching the brothers vocals note for nasty note. A reworked “Amazing Grace” finishes off the album with a perfect touch.
Certain records just seem to reek of authenticity, and Brotherhood is one.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s July ’14 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.