OMFG. Save me a seat. I'm coming up.
We are still working out details and dates and whatnot but Rick Holmstrom, Paul Pigat and Kirk Fletcher have all agreed to be interviewed by Tom and play with the house band at Premier Music for his "Tom Harkenriders BluesCast" web show that we started last month with drummer Paul Fasulo!
Paul Pigat is still in the "to be confirmed" column because we are working around the Winter NAMM show schedule but if the details work out he's on board!
The shows can be watched live via our uStream.tv channel, recorded after the fact or if you are in the area you can attend in person! You can ask questions via the live webchat during the webcast if you aren't in the studio that day...
Here's a small bit on each guy:
Rick Holmstrom http://www.rickholmstrom.com
Rick is currently playing with Mavis Staples and is on her (Jeff Tweedy produced) Grammy Nominated album "You Are Not Alone".
Here he is with his own band:
Paul Pigat http://paulpigat.com/The story has been told many times but it's worth repeating...Holmstrom was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. His parents filled their home with the sounds of 50's rock, surf music and the Beatles. His father was a disc jockey who took him to see Chuck Berry at an early age. After messing around with the guitar for awhile, Holmstrom gave it up for sports through his teen years. But while attending college in Redlands, CA, he joined a band that played blues and roots rock at parties for beer. After graduating in 1987, Holmstrom found himself deep into a flourishing Los Angeles blues scene. Stints with stalwarts such as Smokey Wilson, William Clarke, Johnny Dyer, Rod Piazza and the old Hollywood Fats Band led Holmstrom to play and record with legends such as Jimmy Rogers, Billy Boy Arnold, Jody Williams and R.L. Burnside. After fifteen years of heavy touring as a sideman, Holmstrom formed his own band in 2002 and hit the road in support of Hydraulic Groove.
"I'm glad I made that record," Holmstrom reveals, "even though it pissed a lot of folks off. In fact, I'm really proud of it. It was heartfelt. Every record ought to be exactly what you're into at that time. Why hold back? I was into seeing what could be done with beats and samples, especially after my experience with R.L. Hip hop and electronica artists were really making interesting records at that time, at least to me, and I wanted to see what kind of weird juxtaposition I could come up with using my style of blues and these cut up beats. But ultimately, after touring for a couple of years with a tightly rehearsed band trying to re-create the record live, it became a bit of a drag. I started to long for musical freedom. Like Dylan says: ‘I'm a musical expeditionary’."
Enter Late In The Night…all 60 cycle hum, dark ambient textures, punchy dynamics, tape echo, and space. Doug Boehm (who's also walked a traditional-meets-futuristic line with artists such as Beck, Moby, the Vines, and R.L. Burnside) mixed Late In The Night with an emphasis on grit that still retains the best of Holmstrom's signature futuristic sound. Late In The Night is the sound of Rick Holmstrom distilling his 20 years of playing and recording down into blues for the 21st century...and who says creating that kind of sound has to be done on a computer?
From his instructional video
Tearing it up at NAMM last year:
Kirk Fletcher http://www.kirkfletcherband.com/Welcome.htmlABOUT PAUL PIGAT
Paul Pigat started playing the guitar at 11 years of age and was gigging steadily in downtown Toronto by the time he was 12. Through a lifetime dedication to live performance, recording and study he has developed into a superb guitarist, vocalist and songwriter and earned the reputation as one of the best musicians in Western Canada.
An extremely versatile artist, with projects ranging from delta blues to classical music, he heads four diverse Vancouver bands and is in high demand as a sideman, having recorded and toured with the likes of Neko Case, Ndidi Onkuwulu, Jim Byrnes, Michael Kaeshammer, and Carolyn Mark, and has shared the stage with Taj Mahal, Mae Moore, Lee Aaron, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Joshua Redman, Big Sandy and His Flyrite Boys, Aaron Neville and more.
With many recordings to his credit, Paul has also recently developed a series of instructional DVD's in conjunction with LearnRootsMusic.com. The DVD's have been received with great enthusiasm and are now being distributed by Mel Bay.
He has literally played every type of gig out there, from small clubs to large stadiums, and festivals covering the entire spectrum of roots, blues, rockabilly and jazz music.
Playing in Paris with The Fabulous Thunderbirds:
A clip he did for Lovepedal:
Holy crap I'm excited just to be in the room!As a two time W.C. Handy Award nominee, who has toured with Lynwood Slim, Janiva Magness, Charlie Musselwhite and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, as well as performing with James Cotton, Pine Top Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Mojo Buford, Ted Harvey, Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Michael Landau, Elvin Bishop, Ronnie Earl, Doyle Bramhall, Michelle Branch and many more… Kirk Fletcher is considered one of the best young guitar players on the blues scene today.
Born 1975 in Bellflower California, Kirk began playing guitar at age eight after watching his brother Walter perform at their father’s church. At age twelve he attended the Long Beach Blues Festival where he saw the likes of Albert Collins, Bobby Blue Bland, (accompanied by Wayne Bennett) and the Staple Singers. This was a life changing experience for him as he realized that this was the music he wanted to play.
While still in High School he discovered a small but legendary Los Angeles music store called Music Works, where he met owner Jim Foote, “Meeting Jim was invaluable in my search for tone and a better understanding of the mechanics of the instrument, and it was a very cool scene to be a part of....that’s how I met Jeff Rivera, who at the time was Robben Ford’s guitar tech. I got to assist him and be a fly on the wall to some of the most amazing musical events of my life up to that point....and it heightened my musicianship!” During this time he performed with R&B artist Christopher Williams and was playing gospel weekly at The House of Blues, with Brent Jones & The T.P. Mob, where he also shared the stage with such artists as Stephanie Mills and Jackson Browne.
In the Mid 90’s Kirk met Al Blake, frontman of the Hollywood Fats Band who became a mentor to the young guitarist. Blake introduced him to wide variety of blues music,“Al hipped me to blues artists as diverse as The Mississippi Sheiks to Tommy Johnson...we’re talkin’ pre Robert Johnson stuff...that’s how far back we went..!” and it was through Blake he also met and bonded with guitarist Junior Watson, “Junior and I would get together smoke cigars, drink tequila and talk guitars...”
Around this time Kirk met and sat in with harmonica legend Lynwood Slim, “I’m grateful to Slim for giving me a stage to play on...” and it was then that Kirk released his first solo effort “I’m Here & I’m Gone” for the JSP Label. “It gave me a chance to pay tribute to my influences and to establish my solo career”. Kirk’s reputation was growing amongst harp players around town, and through an introduction, again, by Al Blake, Kirk sat in with Kim Wilson, and about a year later, got a call to join Kim Wilson’s Blues Review. “I played on and off with Kim for over 2 years....when he wasn’t working with the T-birds”, with the results being the Grammy nominated album“Smoking Joint” .
In 2003 Kirk recorded his second album “Shades of Blue” and it brought him even greater attention in the blues community,“Charlie Musselwhite found out about me through blues musician Doug MacLeod......,Charlie needed a guitar player and called me”, this gig was special for Kirk, “He gave me the freedom to find my voice on the guitar”. He spent three years touring with Charlie and feels that this is where he developed his unique style.
A year later, after another call from Kim, he joined The Fabulous Thunderbirds, where he contributed to and recorded on their “Painted On” album. “I made lifelong friends in Nick, Ronnie, Jimi, Steve and Gene”. In 2007 he gave notice in order pursue his solo career, and this is when he met up with legendary guitarist and producer Michael Landau. “ We first played together at the Baked Potato in L.A., quickly became friends and really connected musically”.
In recent years Kirk has been performing all over Europe as a headliner and occasionally touring in the U.S. with Doyle Bramhall and Michelle Branch. When home, he gives open counseling at Hollywood’s Guitar Institute of Technology. Currently he’s ready to release his third solo album, “My Turn”.
OMFG. Save me a seat. I'm coming up.
Speaking of Lynwood Slim, will he ever come back to Premier to teach Blues Singing and Harmonica? (I am serious. No harp jokes.)