What makes the Holmes Brothers so interesting is that while they don’t write many of their own songs, they have such a fascinating way of interpreting other people’s songs. Here, they give a wonderful stripped down reading of Bob Marley’s "Concrete Jungle" which really gets to the heart of the song and its message. Same thing with Townes Van Zandt’s "If I Needed You" which shows off the Brothers amazing vocal harmonies. A touch less successful is the gospel rave up treatment given to the modern rock tune "Shine." In a sense, it should fit right into the band’s gospel heritage, but the arrangement of the song just doesn’t click.
But really, that’s the only thing that could be considered a mis-step on this record. This band has locked onto a foolproof formula where they can cover everything from country, Hank Williams’ "I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry," to the contemporary folk of Gillian Welch’s "Everything is Free" to the straight-ahead blues of the standard "Big Boss Man."
This is just a rock solid disc of roots music and is recommended to anyone who appreciates honest music, shorn of all the BS.
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