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Revered blues musician Sherman Holmes makes a special appearance on Mountain Stage's 900th episode, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. As a founding member, bassist and vocalist for the soulful Virginia trio The Holmes Brothers, Holmes spent his formative musical years playing a mix of gospel, R&B and rock 'n' roll with his brother Wendell Holmes and his like-a-brother Willie "Popsy" Dixon. Although recent years saw the tragic passing of both of his kin, Holmes has returned to the musical forefront at the age of 77 with his first solo recording, one that is dedicated to his brothers' memories. Through high-flying hymns and foot-stomping sing-a-longs, Holmes' music reminds us of the need for hope in hopeless days and our ability to find light in the darkest of nights.
The Sherman Holmes Project's debut release is The Richmond Sessions, produced by the Virginia Folklife Program and made available via M.C. Records. Although he has appeared on Mountain Stage more than ten times since 1990, this 2017 performance includes a new configuration for Holmes, with Jared Pool on mandolin, Brandon Davis on guitar, Jacob Eller on bass, Scott Freeman on fiddle and accompanying vocals from Almeta Ingram Miller, Cheryl Maroney-Yancey and Cary Ann Jackson.