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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Monday, July 17, 2017

M.C. Records artist: The Sherman Holmes Project - The Richmond Sessions - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release (July 21, 2017), The Richmond Sessions, by The Sherman Holmes Project and it's quite good. This is Sherman's first recordings since the death of his partners in music, Wendell Holmes and Popsy Dixon in 2015 and it has new breath. Opening with the traditional, Rock Of Ages, Holmes is joined by Rob Ickes on dobro, Jared Pool on mandolin, Sammy Shelor on banjo Jacob Eller on bass, and David Van Deventer on fiddle for a cool bluegrass track. Continuing in the rural vein, Vince Gill's Lisa Jane is up next showing a blend of soul and country. Balancing his own vocals with a jazzy electric guitar riff, dobro riffs and fiddle riffs this track keeps it cool. On Holland/ Dozier team's Don't Do It, Holmes uses somewhat of The Band's arrangement with it's cool rural funk. Stuart Hamlin's addition on piano on this track is super and the Snappy drumming of Clarence Walters really highlights the super backing vocals by Almeta Ingram-Miller, Cheryl Maroney and Ann Cunningham. Very nice. One of my favorite tracks on the release, I Want Jesus, really embraces the vitality of Holmes vocals with super backing vocals by Ingram-Miller, Maroney and Cunningham and the smooth dobro work of Ickes. Never thought of the blend of bluegrass and blues on Breaking Up Somebody's Home but here it is and it works. With mandolin, banjo and fiddle solos, there's no denying it's rural heritage. In a duet with Joan Osborne, Holmes lays out the classic Dark End Of The Street and a cool guitar solo by Pool is carried by DJ Harrison on B3. Traditional track, Wide River is another of my favorites with the strong lead by Holmes and beautiful backing by Ingram-Miller, Maroney and Cunningham with Hamlin on piano. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Ben Harper's Homeless Child. Holmes, Cunningham and Maroney really blend nicely with Jon Lohman on harp, Walters on drums, Shelor on banjo, Pool on Mandolin Van Deventer on fiddle and Ickes on dobro. Solid closer for a real cool release. 

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