Product Description & Reviews
Hydraulic Groove, the new release from guitar virtuoso Rick Holmstrom, blends and weaves electric layers, samples and textures into funky, dense, instant-classic guitar grooves. Holmstrom progressively invents a sound entirely his own, proving that the blues is more a state of mind than a genre. On Hydraulic Groove, Holmstrom enlisted the help of mixer/producer Rob Schnapf whose prior project roster includes artists like Beck, R.L. Burnside, Moby, Elliot Smith and the Foo Fighters. With Schnapf at the nobs, Holmstrom's music comes alive with an eclectic and exciting vitality. Includes bonus tracks with John Medeski and DJ Logic. The groove is king on this masterful guitarist's latest album--and a chameleon king at that, effortlessly blending Holmstrom's vintage chops with trip-hop, psychedelia, organ-combo sounds, and crazy swing. Although Holmstrom played wonderful, atmospheric guitar on R.L. Burnside's blues-trip-hop fusion disc, Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down, this is a radical departure from Holmstrom's solo recordings, which have stayed firmly in the traditional blues path. Instrumentals like "Bobo the Hobo" mate a smoky cocktail lounge vibe with rock & roll thrust, using flourishes like backward guitar and cranked-up snare for sonic edginess. The best of the vocal tracks, like the love song "My Maria" and the traveling number "These Roads," slice and dice Holmstrom's singing, keyboard loops, electronic burbles, a beat box, and other effects to pump up the modernity. But even when things get outright Martian, as on the percolating, slithery sci-fi-flick arrangement of "Gravy," Holmstrom's guitar keeps the music anchored in the blues. His slowly bent notes, staccato fills, and sweet, slightly distorted amp tones place this album's orbit within the gravitational pull of formative labels like Chess and Sun. But the slinky beauty of the big beats of rap is respected, too, and the pure outness of the sonic collage that pedals behind "Pee Wee's Nightmare" places the song somewhere between jazz, blues, and Brian Eno's ambient recordings. Oddly, Holmstrom only goes astray when he plays it straight. It's in a plain shuffle number like "I'm Gone" that his weaknesses as a lyricist and singer shine through. --Ted Drozdowski
Features & Highlights
|Item Weight:||0.2 pounds|
|Item Size:||5.75 x 0.45 x 0.45 inches|
|Package Weight:||0.18 pounds|
|Package Size:||4.97 x 0.54 x 0.54 inches|
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