Tom Guerra's " All of the Above" is a refreshing surprise . A guitarist's solo album is often just a collection of excuses to burn up the fretboard. Guerra mines the
embarrassingly rich store of rock styles from 1965 to 1979 to skillfully craft great songs with melodic hooks, clever insightful lyrics that tell engaging stories, a wonderful
variety of textures and grooves and throughout, the guitar parts are all in the service of making the songs stronger.
Guerra's influences may be worn on his sleeve but he transcends being merely derivative by bringing his own signature to T-Rex style grooves, Beatle melodies, sleazy 70's funk and other elements, each track has it's own distinct flavour which makes for a rich listening experience. Just as The Beatles, Zeppelin and so many bands of that era, "All of the Above" manages to navigate a variety of styles while retaining a cohesive feel.
Tom should be nominated for a Nobel Prize for successfully combining seven consecutive Beatles song titles into the lyrics of a single song ("Cup of Tea"). "Indian" tells the poignant and tragic story of the Cherokee People and the trail of tears while combining a stylized version of an Indian drum pattern with big guitar riffs. "Here's Tomorrow " has the classic jangly 12 string, instantly hummable melody and a lyrical style that I might expect in an Elvis Costello or Tom Petty song.
In a world where auto-tuned, lip-syncing, choreographed dancing, computerized percussion, Pro Tools assembled mass -produced soulless pop garbage is shoved down the public's collective throat we need more artists like Tom Guerra bringing real music, played by real musicians to the people.
- James H
To Purchase Tom Guerra - All of the Above or for more information go to: wwwTomGuerra.com