Holmes Brothers | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Holmes Brothers

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The Holmes Brothers kick off their latest, State of Grace (Alligator), with a slyly camouflaged nod to their roots. "Smiling Face Hiding a Weeping Heart," despite its rock-tinged arrangement, invokes Al Green: the meandering melody, the deceptively boxy funk cadence, the smoldering tension between carnal and spiritual. But Green, torn between his calling and his desires, often sounded wracked with anguish; the Holmes Brothers, no less bold in mixing the sacred and the secular, imbue everything they touch with fearless enthusiasm, from the lascivious "Gasoline Drawers" to the haunting dirge "I've Just Seen the Rock of Ages." Their take on Lyle Lovett's "God Will" succeeds as both a cuckold's kiss-off and a penitent's prayer, in effect bringing soul music full circle a good 50 years after Sam Cooke first scandalized the gospel world by crossing over into R & B. a 9:30 PM, FitzGerald's, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn, 708-788-2118 or 312-559-1212, $15.

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