A message to cover bands and singers: You don't have to be hacks
. Instead of regurgitating someone else's art, be like the Holmes Brothers
. Their sweet, gospel-tinged roots and R&B, their three-part harmonies and their rustic air utterly transform their subjects. Drummer Popsy Dixon's falsetto balances brothers Wendell and Sherman Holmes as the trio sometimes accompanied by other musicians performs makeovers even more impressive than turning Eddie Murphy into an incredibly fat woman. Their eighth full-length, State of Grace
, slows Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me" to a trickle, creating a plaintive, soul-driven piano ballad, and cleverly reworks other classics "What's So Funny (About Peace, Love and Understanding)," "Bad Moon Rising," a couple of Lyle Lovett tunes to accompany several equally delicious originals.