Wendell Holmes says that surviving cancer and then turning that experience into some of the songs that informed the Holmes Brothers' 2010 album "Feed My Soul" has also raised the bar for the songwriting he's done since.
"It HAS made the bar higher, and not just because of being sick," says Holmes, 68, the youngest of the trio that formed in 1979, after Wendell and older brother Sherman Holmes worked in bands backing the IMpressions, John Lee Hooker, Jerry Butler and others.
"As you get older and have more life experiences, you have more to say and hopefully more meaningful things to say in your songs. So the bar is always getting higher if you're doing it right."
Holmes say he has "six or seven songs" completed for the group's next album, which is more than he usually writes. And he predicts it will be "more of a love album, a love/bluesy type album" -- but the Holmes Brothers won't necessarily be singing the blues about love.
"It goes both ways," Holmes notes with a laugh, "but for the most part they're positive. There's happy blues, slow blues, fast blues. I'll give you a little hint; one of the songs is called 'Lovin' You From Afar,' so it's about life's loves.
"We just feel like maybe it's time for us to go back to the basics, at least for one album -- not strictly blues, but blues-y. We're considered a blues group, even though we do a lot of different kinds of music. We try not to write for any one genre, just write about our life experience."
The Holmes Brothers perform at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, at New Center Park, 2998 West Grand Blvd., Detroit. Admission is free. Visit www.newcenterpark.com for more details.
Send your thoughts and comments to