The Holmes Brothers, "Feed My Soul"

81 Billboard Rating

On the Holmes Brothers' 2007 album, "State of Grace," Wendell Holmes sang about how a cancer diagnosis stopped him in his tracks--but apparently not for long. The trio's 10th studio set, "Feed My Soul," sports a career-high nine originals and finds Wendell proudly declaring that "Living Well is the Best Revenge." The 14-track album traverses the Holmes' usual blend of soul, gospel and blues with born-again vigor. Highlights include the rolling bas and chicken-scratch guitar on "Dark Cloud," the country western flavors of "Edge of the Ledge" and "Something Is Missing" (an unrecorded John Ellison composition) and the foot-stomping grit of "Rounding Third." Produced by their good pal Joan Osborne (who also helped with the group's 2001 breakthrough, "Speaking in Tongues"), Wendell, Sherman and brother-in-spirit Popsy Dixon treat the Beatles' "I'll Be Back" to a rich, Four Tops-style arrangement. And the Brothers also showcase their beautifully earthy harmonies on the title track and the doo-wop styled "Pledging My Love."

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