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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rick Holmstrom

Rick Holmstrom (born May 30, 1965) is an American electric blues and rhythm and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. Holmstrom has released five albums since 1996, and previously worked with William Clarke and Rod Piazza. In addition, Holmstrom has played and recorded with Jimmy Rogers, Billy Boy Arnold, Jody Williams and R. L. Burnside.

One critic observed of Holmstrom, "he delivers music with technical savvy and traditional stylings, without sacrificing originality and pure adventure"
Holmstrom was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, United States, and his father was a DJ. After relocating to Southern California, and while attending college in Redlands, California, he joined a local blues group. Holmstrom also went to blues concerts, where he played guitar with Smokey Wilson and Junior Watson.

He joined William Clarke's backing band, and played both lead and rhythm guitar for three years up to 1988. Joining forces with Johnny Dyer, Holmstrom played on his albums, Listen Up (1994) and Shake It! (1995). He moved on to join Rod Piazza's backing group, the Mighty Flyers and, in 1996, released his first solo album, Lookout! on Black Top Records. It was an instrumental affair, about which one reviewer noted "Holmstrom's inventive ideas are top-notch, making each track stand mightily on its own".

However, Holmstrom continued to perform with Piazza, and help him record Tough and Tender (1997). By 2000, Holmstrom's second solo effort, Gonna Get Wild was released on Tone-Cool Records, and he stayed long enough with Piazza's backing ensemble to participate on Beyond the Source (2001). Holmstrom next release, Hydraulic Groove (2002), saw him incorporate elements of jazz and funk to the overall blues pattern. One of his more daring efforts, the album included contributions from John Medeski and DJ Logic. Hydraulic Groove peaked at number 9 in the Billboard Top Blues Albums chart. In 2005, Holmstrom played at the Dark Season Blues festival. Holmstrom turned to record production duties for other musicians before, in 2006, releasing Live at the Cafe Boogaloo.

Holmstrom switched record label to M.C. Records, and in 2007 issued Late in the Night. In the spring of 2012 he is out touring as the guitarist in the backing band for Mavis Staples.
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