Los Angeles axeman Rick Holstrom, best known for his work with Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, delivers an album full of diversity on this, his first Tone-Cool release. The 13 songs included on Gonna Get Wild play out like a catalog of guitar stylings, running from the uptempo blues of "I'd Hate to See You Cry" to the sounds of swing and early rock & roll. Holstrom is able to pull off the different styles with ease and finesse, playing in rich, clean tones without overdoing it on the distortion. That's one reason why his songs have the uncanny ability to sound both retro and modern simultaneously.
On "Phlazzbo," Holstrom turns up the Latin rhythm, while "Have You Seen My Girl" delves into the New Orleans flavorings of zydeco. On "Lovin' Ways," a variation on the theme delivered by Jay McShann's "Hootie Blues," Holstrom swings to beat the band. "Lost in the Shuffle" is a fine swing-shuffle, with some excellent sax and a foot tapping beat.
Rick brings in some top of the line guests on the album, including the aforementioned Rod and Honey Piazza, and the Mighty Flyers rhythm section including Bill Stuve (bass) and Steve Mugalian (drums), Jeff Turmes (ex-James Hartman Band), Andy Kaulkin (piano), Junior Watson, Johnny Dyer, Juke Logan (organ), Kad Kadison (tenor sax), Chris Hunter, Bobby Horton, Teddy Morgan, Henry Carvajal, Curtis Cunningham, and Steve Marsh (tenor sax). In an interesting new move, Holstrom steps up to the mike to sing lead vocals on eight of the tracks for the first time, and he sounds great. It kind of makes you wonder why he hasn't taken to the mike before.
The most refreshing quality about Rick Holstrom is the fact that he delivers music with technical savvy and traditional stylings, without sacrificing originality and pure adventure. And his knack for creating a melody line is unparalleled, and his open attitude toward varied musical genres paint a clear image of greatness in Holstom's immediate future.