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Return of the Bastard

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Album Review

After branching out (only slightly) for 2006's From the Soil to the Soul, Tommy Guerrero returned to his usual repertoire — a one-man-band setup and breezy instrumental soul/rock — for Return of the Bastard. Granted, From the Soil to the Soul was hardly a radical departure; it included only a few deeper grooves and one high-profile feature (for Lyrics Born). But it's still nice to have Guerrero back creating his own record, seemingly unencumbered even by the few suggestions that such an artist-oriented label like Quannum may have come up with. Although instrumental music this light and laid-back risks being called lazy, it's clear Guerrero isn't just an aimless street-corner musician. His guitar solos, obtuse yet warm, are always interesting, whether smooth and acoustic or raggedly electric, and at several points he adds his own kalimba or Fredo Ortiz on conga to vary the sound. Material like this is always going to be considered primarily as the background for a visual narrative, but like great instrumental rock from Link Wray to Don Caballero, it creates its own narrative.

Customer Reviews


There are no lyrics, well very few. This album is unadulterated aural pleasure, short bursts of guitar soul funk demonstrate that Mr Guerrero truly is a master of his trade. As there seems to be no coherent thread through the album, rather poignant tracks are enmeshed those more forgettable, perhaps in part due to it lacking any recognisable concept, I can only give it 4 stars


Born: 09 September 1966 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Tommy Guerrero may be better known in the world of skateboarding than music. Born in San Francisco, Guerrero joined the skateboard company Powell Peralta in 1985 and became one of the original members of the legendary "Bones Brigade" team. Always interested in music, Guerrero was a fan of the high-energy punk music that surrounded the early-'80s skate scene. Since then, Guerrero has become an accomplished bassist and guitarist with influences as diverse as John Coltrane, Latin Playboys, and Tortoise....
Full bio
Return of the Bastard, Tommy Guerrero
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