30 May 1965, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA. Being raised in Alaska put Holmstrom on the outer edges of the music scene, but owing to his disc jockey father he heard a lot of contemporary rock and pop on records and radio and was especially enamoured with contemporary blues. He began playing guitar from the age of 11 and an early and lasting influence was Chuck Berry. The Holmstrom family moved to Southern California in 1985, and while attending the University of Redlands there, Holmstrom joined a student band, CBC. Later, he stayed on in California to play and learn in Los Angeles blues clubs.
In 1988, Holmstrom joined William Clarkes band, appearing on 1990s Blowin Like Hell. Through this engagement, by the early 90s Holmstrom had become a respected figure on the blues circuit, owing in large part to his obvious respect and admiration for the blues tradition and the past masters of the form. Among artists he heard and with whom he...