Mambo Sons: Mambo Sons
Every now and then I will read a very heartfelt story about how some high school sweethearts from years past have been re-united later in life. In fact, a close friend of mine in her early 60's has just recently had such an experience herself having been reunited with the love of her youth. In each of these cases, the persons involved have reported how these reunions were made special by the fact there was a certain familiarity in their new relationships but also something fresh and new.

The CD "Mambo Sons" from Connecticut born guitarist/songwriter Tom Guerra and vocalist/songwriter Scott Lawson invokes similar feelings as does a reunion with a lost past love. The CD, which is a collection of Guerra/Lawson originals, should rightly be called a classic rock recording, howbeit with a healthy dose of blues/rock flavoring. Among the many things which make this an enjoyable recording is its diversity of influences as demonstrated by both Guerra and Lawson.

Within this excellent work, the listener will encounter both reminders of the past as well as a glimpse into the future. Along the way, you will hear flashes of 60s, 70s, and 80s sounds which may remind you at times of bands like the Cars, Leo Sayer, David Bowie, the Band, and many others including a small shot of Johnny Rivers. A good case in point is track #3, Monkeyfinger, which is also among my favorites of the set. The song, which features an appearance by guitar giant Rick Derringer, opens with a Pete Townsend like riff and quickly switches to sound more like Dire Straits. The transition is crisp and flawlessly executed and again, it leaves the listener believing he has just heard something familiar, yet also something fresh. No small feat and this combination of different influences is repeated at other points of the recording, as well. Track #6, "Tomonga Street", opens with a Thirty Eight Special sound, followed by Bowie/Ziggy Stardust vocals and a Doobie like guitar break. And, while you may not agree with me entirely as to the exact identity of the influences, you baby boomers will still recognize them as the voices of old friends. And, no matter the style or influence, Guerra and Lawson deliver both first rate guitar and vocal work on each.

The entire set is extremely entertaining and I have a number of personal favorites, including the aforementioned "Monkeyfinger", the driving beat and excellent vocals of "I Go Wild", "Give Me The Party", which also proves to me that Mr. Guerra can be a most excellent slide player, and another Pete Townsend sounding selection "It Was You". The other selections are good also, and this is very much the kind of strong and consistent material for which we search to review at Bluesrockers.

The CD is available via the official Tom Guerra web site at www.tomguerra.com . Along with being an excellent musician, Mr. Guerra has also been a very fine gentleman with whom to communicate and we always encourage you to support artists like this.




The Band:
Scott Lawson: Vocals
Tom Guerra: Guitar
Kenny Aaronson: Bass
Mike Hayden: Drums

Tracks:
1. Habits of Mine 2. Crazy Girl 3. Monkeyfinger 4. Devil Moon 5. Slipaway 6. Tomonga Street 7. I Go Wild 8. Naste' Shonde' 9. Give Me The Party 10. Everybody's Got a Little Judy in Them 11. It Was You 12. The Power of Time

1999 Self Produced

Web site: Tom Guerra Buy CD: CD Baby
© Bluesrockers 2001