Released today is “Sentimental Junk,” new solo album from rock and roll songwriter / guitarist Tom Guerra, his Thin Man Music debut. This album, Guerra’s fifth, follows on the success of “Sudden Signs of Grace” (2020), “American Garden” (2018), “Trampling out the Vintage” (2016) and “All of the Above” (2014).
According to Guerra (leader of indie rockers Mambo Sons and writer for Vintage Guitar magazine) “this is a back to the roots thing for me…my last album featured a lot of acoustic tunes but this record reflects my renewed love affair with the electric guitar and the pent up energy that being in lockdown for two years brings.”
The first single off the album, “California’s Got to My Girl” is an R&B based vocal duet with legendary Boston musician Jon Butcher. Recalling the golden era of Seventies soul, the track is already getting regional airplay. Said the Grammy-nominated Butcher, “As someone lucky enough to have rubbed shoulders with some of the finest players in the world, I am proud to call Tom Guerra a friend and fellow brother-in-arms. I highly recommend “Sentimental Junk” as a must hear for anyone digging on guitar music… Like me!”
In addition to the ten new original songs contained on “Sentimental Junk,” the record features a cover of “Clean Cut Kid,” a 1983 Bob Dylan song. Said Guerra, “I loved Dylan’s ‘Clean Cut Kid’ and I was curious to see how it might fare with a harder, straight-ahead rock and roll arrangement.”
Longtime collaborator Kenny Aaronson (Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Billy Idol, The Yardbirds, etc.) not only contributes bass to this effort, but also arranged the horns and strings on two of the songs. According to Aaronson, “Tom is a great songwriter. He has great pop sensibilities, and I really like his way of crafting a melody. He is a sensitive and keen observer of the human condition as one will hear in his lyrics.”
Several tracks on the new album are harder edged, guitar based rock and roll numbers, and “Eyes of the World,” Guerra’s tribute to Leslie West, features a reunion with his longtime Mambo Sons bandmate, singer Scott Lawson Pomeroy.
Other songs including “Think for Yourself,” “A Song for Mark Easton” (written about Tom’s bandmate who died of Covid-19) and the aforementioned “California’s Got to My Girl” have strong roots in blues and R&B based music.
Recorded two years into the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic, Guerra says that he finds writing therapeutic. “Being stuck inside for a couple years made us all a little restless, and I think that energy comes across on this record. It’s a good feeling to write, and people need music, especially during times like these.”