Veteran guitarist and songwriter Tom Guerra was an in-studio guest on the Sept. 13 edition of Greasy Tracks.
Guerra discussed his recently released solo album, All of the Above and he and host Chris Cowles played cuts from it as well as
featuring selections spotlighting their favorite guitarists.
Since the late 1970s, Guerra has been a popular guitarist on the New England club circuit, playing with a host of leading blues, rock and R&B acts.
He first gained notoriety after being featured in the March 1991 issue of Guitar Player. Over the years, he has recorded or played with Rick Derringer, The Dirty Bones Blues Band, E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg, Mark Nomad, The Easton Brothers with Muddy Waters bassist Charles Calmese, Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson of The Allman Brothers Band, Second Son, Guitar Shorty, Adolph Jacobs of The Coasters, Kenny Aaronson and The Delrays, for which he received acclaim from Buddy Guy.
After 15 years of fronting the Mambo Sons, Guerra released All of the Above, a collection of 11 original rock tracks. The CD has been featured and favorably reviewed in numerous music and guitar
magazines as well as The Huffington Post. The music website The Cutting Edge summed up the effort stating: “A soulful journey back to the basics of rock and roll.”
Guerra helped form the Mambo Sons in 1999 and was the guitarist and principle songwriter for the band which released four critically acclaimed CDs before breaking up in 2013. The group played hundreds of shows and their releases sold around the world, despite the music industry’s shift toward marketing music via the MP3 format.
He spent a five-year period working for Johnny Winter, penning liner notes as the guitarist released a handful of live recordings via The Bootleg Series.
Since the late 1980s, Guerra has done studio work as a session guitarist as well as helping other artists with their songs, arrangements and recordings.
Of the hundreds of songs Guerra has written, two recent numbers have garnered praise for their positive and healing nature, despite the gravity of the subject matter.
Immediately following the Sandy Hook school shooting in December 2012, Guerra wrote and recorded “Love Comes to Us All” to honor families impacted by the tragic event. Following the release of the song and associated video, Newtown First Selectman Patricia Llodra and several people directly affected wrote letters praising the song.
In 2013, he recorded “Put Up Their Names — The Ballad of the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans” to honor the 74 sailors lost aboard the USS Frank E. Evans off the coast of Vietnam in June 1969. According to Guerra, the purpose of the song was to bring attention to the U.S. government’s refusal to add the names of the 74 on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Greasy Tracks, the longest-running soul-based radio program in the state, airs Saturday’s 3:30-5:30 p.m.