An album like Rick Holmstrom’s Hydraulic Groove is an exceptional feat that puts the rhythm and the blues back in R&B. This disc is a shack-rattling good time dripping with the sweaty grit of the Chitlin’ Circuit days. The groove in his hydraulics are straight from the heyday of Stax — when the blues still shook the soul world. Like Sharon Jones and her posse, Holmstrom brings back the old days of flowered-dressed rumps a-shakin’ and dripping conks greasing up the dancefloor. Move over Boorman 6 girl, Putney says Rick Holmstrom has soul!
However, aside from playing one mean guitar, the man throws in some nice modern touches to the atavistic aural canvas. Take “Pee Wee’s Nightmare,” for example. Holmstrom’s Chuck Berry-ish gut-busting guitar licks grind over some nice hip-hop breakbeats and Big Band horn flourishes. “My Maria,” which has got to be the funkiest, sultriest cut on the album, has a few d&b touches sprinkled into the jam for extra flavor. While reminiscent of the best days of Excello and Stax, Holmstrom is a funky innovator (with somewhat of a thin voice) who seems to fit in perfectly with the best that Fat Possum has to offer.
A smokin’ good time.
Tone Cool Records: http://www.tonecool.com