By Danielle Ortega
Local Music Journalist
Artist: Tommy Guerrero
Album: Road to Knowhere
Release Date: October 26, 2018
Tommy Guerrero, a man mostly known for his career in skateboarding, also makes music, and I’ve gotta say, it’s fantastic. He has been playing music since the late ’70s with his brother and has self released many albums with a label he created called TOOGOOD. A very talented guitarist and composer, each of Guerrero’s albums have been magnificently unique and have each pulled inspiration from multiple different genres such as rock, hip hop, funk, and jazz.
Road to Knowhere is completely instrumental and has a heavy influence from all of the sounds and languages that color California, the place where Guerrero grew up. The album features some wonderfully soulful tracks such as “El Camino Negro,” “Sidewalk Soul,” and “Postcard Home;” as well as a few tracks that somewhat mirror some of the instrumentals of The Growlers’ earlier albums Are You In Or Out? and Hot Tropics. Both have a groovy beach rock feel to them that makes the songs sound a bit mysterious and haunting. This has been especially captured in “Los Padres,” my favorite on the album. This song sounds as though it could be in the background of a scene of the movie Inherent Vice, as I could see Doc scoping out a dark nightclub or driving down a beach with this playing.
Overall the album reminds me of evenings in the kitchen with my father, watching him dance around while he cooks. Although there are no lyrics, Road to Knowhere tells many stories of the desert, late night gatherings, and hushed whispers of secrets. This album elicits memories, emotion, and images simply through the chatter of the instruments and the way they interact. This is a brilliant addition to Guerrero’s discography that absolutely deserves a listen.