LEWISTON – Called “an undiscovered American treasure” by The Associated Press, the eclectic Holmes Brothers will close the 2007-08 Bates College Concert Series with a performance Saturday, March 1.

Rooted in blues and gospel, the trio’s impassioned three-part harmonies, energy and musicianship mix Saturday night’s roadhouse rock with the gospel fervor of Sunday’s church service.

Described by Entertainment Weekly as “juke-joint vets with a brazenly borderless view of American music,” The Holmes Brothers are bassist-vocalist Sherman Holmes, guitarist-pianist-vocalist Wendell Holmes and drummer-vocalist Popsy Dixon.

Their three-part harmonies blend Wendell’s gruff and gravely vocals with Popsy’s falsetto and Sherman’s rich baritone, creating a multilayered and textured sound.

The concert will mark the second consecutive night of rootsy music presented by Bates that weekend. Corey Harris, known from his role in Martin Scorsese’s PBS-TV series “The Blues,” will perform Feb. 29. (concert is sold out)

The Holmes Brothers have recorded with Van Morrison, Odetta, Willie Nelson, Rosanne Cash and Joan Osborne, and have performed worldwide. Their recordings include “Speaking in Tongues,” 2001; “Simple Truths,” 2004 and last year’s “State Of Grace,” produced by Craig Street (Norah Jones, John Legend and Cassandra Wilson).

Noted for their ability to transform songs by legendary writers from the Beatles to Tom Waits to Bob Marley, The Holmes Brothers push that tradition even further on “State Of Grace.”

They reinvent songs by writers as diverse as John Fogerty, “Bad Moon Rising;” Cheap Trick, “I Want You To Want Me;” Hank Williams Sr., “I Can’t Help It If I’m Still In Love With You;” George Jones, “Ain’t It Funny What A Fool Will Do; and Lyle Lovett, ‘God Will, If I Had A Boat.”

As impressive as they are as interpreters, the Holmes Brothers are equally talented songwriters. Originals “Gasoline Drawers,” “Smiling Face Hiding A Weeping Heart,” “Close The Door” and “Standing In The Need Of Love” showcase the same true-life stories, depth of feeling, heartbreak and humor found in the timeless songs they choose to cover.

The Homes Brothers concert will begin at 8 p.m. in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St. Admission is $15/$5; $20 day of show. For reservations or more information, call 786-6135 or visit abacus.bates.edu/concerts/index.html.


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