Reviews for Lookout (Black Top, 1996)

“Most of the blues albums that cross my CD player tend to follow trails already blazed by Stevie Ray Vaughan or B.B. King. The newer albums have large elements of virtuosity and energy, but something seems to be missing–something like originality. So it was a surprising pleasure to discover Lookout (Black Top), an album of 16 original guitar instrumentals by Rick Holmstrom. Retro in taste, Holmstrom seems to have found a cave in 1956, slept for 40 years and emerged with his chops and his enthusiasm in top working order. Though virtuoso enough for guitar worshipers, he plays without the slightest influence of what white rock bands have been doing since the late sixties. I say he knows what he likes and he plays it. Whether it’s jump blues, early rock or swing, his phrasing always goes somewhere in service of the song. He always gets to the point in less than three minutes. And on Rub It, he does a slamming imitation of Lightin’ Hopkins.” –PLAYBOY MAGAZINE
“…a guitarist willing to bend the rules and unafraid to scare off the purists. Lookout! is a bubbling joy ride, infectious in it’s energy and snappy in its twists…the variety gives it the cohesion of a well-planned movie score.” –L.A. WEEKLY
” Sometimes raw and raunchy, sometimes full and mellow, his tone is always right for the setting, be it a country blues or a jump tune. What’s more, the tunes are appealing in their own right, brimming with strong melodies and conjuring a variety of distinctive moods.” –WASHINGTON POST