Support Local Journalism. Donate to Detroit Metro Times.

Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Hydraulic Groove

Posted By on Wed, Nov 6, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Despite the best efforts of blues purists (who sometimes tend to view musical evolution as a fate worse than death), the blues continues to shift its sonic shape. As with all other American musical art forms, it really doesn’t have much choice. Blues has achieved such a status and appeal (well-deserved, hard-fought, well-earned) that it continually attracts a wide variety of musicians desiring to interpret the music in their own way. The natural result of this is a musical cross-pollination that has resulted in such recognizable subgenres as jazz-style blues, blues rock, blues funk, and the origin of it all, Delta blues.

All of this is to preface that Rick Holmstrom’s Hydraulic Groove is another one of those inevitable blues albums that will more than likely upset some in the purist community who won’t be able to tolerate the marriage of blues with such “unworthy” musical elements as hip hop and the sampling that comes with it. As for the elements of rockabilly thrown in, some listeners may simply spontaneously combust upon aural contact.

What Rick Holmstrom has created here is truly an experimental blues stew. It may not be to everyone’s taste and it may not always quite work (although it most often does), but it has the ingredients of something really good. More importantly, the man has purposely driven right over the “safe blues” warning signs posted alongside the road, and for that he deserves a commendation. The only thing worse than forgetting the history of the blues is blocking it off from what comes next.

E-mail Keith Owens at


We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Metro Times has been keeping Detroit informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources. A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Metro Times. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

More by Keith A. Owens

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 8, 2020


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation