I really like it when artists take left turns. You know, shake things up a little bit. Well, Rick Holmstrom takes a sharp left here. You might know him as a groove-oriented, traditional blues player. Well, his playing doesn’t change here, but the background does. It’s raw. I know, a lot of good blues is, but this is raw in a very different way. It’s full of chopped up beats and samples. So while Rick’s playing is still a soulful throwback, the music has a (for lack of a better word) “modern” sound. That may sound like it shouldn’t work, but it works great. In fact, some of the cuts, like “Back It Up,” have everything but the kitchen sink in them – horns, samples of all sorts, soulful guitar. And it creates a totally unique sound.
I won’t try to describe the feel. It’s an amazing thing you have to hear. Like much of the album, everything is just a little off-kilter, in a wonderful way.
Like I said, Rick’s playing is always bluesy and soulful. And if you just can’t get by without straight-ahead stuff, there’s a couple of hidden tracks that would fit that bill for you. But it’s the adventurous stuff that does it for me here. For a little different taste, check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Oct. ’02 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.