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  • Release Date 2015-10-23
  • Label Too Good
  • Catalog TG008
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. ~ John Bush, Rovi

You don't have to be a surfer or skateboarder to let Return Of The Bastard work its magic on you, but it wouldn't hurt if you were somehow acquainted with the kind of sideways flowing that Tommy Guerrero grew up with. Bastard is a natural and cosmopolitan album boasting a quiver of songs that surf different waters with talented friends. "Calling For Ya!" blends smoky, reverberated, wah-wah, guitar over dubbed out rhythms while samba-funk flavor maker Curumin provides peripheral rhymes. "I Would Go With You" flirts with Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 styled Bosa Nova with percussion played by Alfredo Ortiz of Blackalicious fame. Fellow skate rocker Chuck Treece drums on "Paper Switchblade," giving it a cool and cinematic David Axelrod feel. And Guerrero's guitar treads and traverses different styles and genres, resembling the vintage tones of David Holmes soundtracks one second and then pulling from early Santana the next. When you least expect it he'll pluck an acoustic arpeggio like a '60s folkie, then he'll dip into a sunny and soulful Bill Withers influenced bit, all the while retaining a thread that mirrors the mellow stoke of a California native. - iTunes Editorial

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Return of the Bastard

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