The Sherman Holmes Project
    
Review by Willard Manus

Here’s another artist whose acquaintance I’ve just made: vocalist/bass-player Sherman Holmes. Once part of a roots-oriented family band, Holmes strikes out on his own on this M.C. Records release, backed up by a slew of top-notch sidemen and singers.
    
   
Virginia figures strongly in THE SHERMAN HOLMES PROJECT. Holmes recently returned to his home state after many years in New York; the album was sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities; and most of Holmes’ band is comprised of musicians from the Richmond area (where the album was recorded).

“The Holmes Brothers were always a group that transgressed boundaries,” said Jon Lohman, who not only helped produce the new CD but played harmonica on it. “They weren’t concerned with genre, they loved it all. We wanted to honor that on this album. It’s not a blues album per se, or a bluegrass or a folk album. But to me that’s an advantage, and people who loved the Holmes Brothers should really get into it. It was important to give Sherman his due and jumpstart a new career for him.”

Album highlights include three traditional tunes (“Rock of Ages,” “Wide River” and “I Want Jesus”), a stirring version of Credence Clearwater’s “Green River,” and a fresh take on the fatalistic love song, “Dark End of the Street,” which Holmes and co-singer Joan Osborne deliver with all the grit and defiance they can muster. (Mc-records.com)