Raised on the colorful and gritty streets of San Francisco and steeped in the dark brew of a perfect cultural storm where skateboarding, music and art smashed right into each other, Tommy Guerrero was destined for greatness of the soulful sort.
Adapting to his hilly local environs with speed and style, Guerrero was a bona-fide pioneer of modern street skateboarding, turning pro and traveling the world while still just a teenager. His casual flow was material for the skateboarding pantheon, and has been compared many times over to what would come out when he focused his attention on stringed things. The early four-track tunes he offered were heavily groove-based, with obvious blues, Latin and soul overtones, but as time and albums went by the music became more layered and eclectic, incorporating jazz, hip-hop and funk elements.
More than a decade tirelessly working his craft has passed since Guerrero’s first release, and Lifeboats and Follies is his most fully realized sonic collage by far. The tide of groove remains, but is complemented by an expanded quiver of instruments and sounds, a level of skill cinematic in scope, and a richer, more muscular tone and greater depth of emotion. The soup has been thickened, the fire is smoldering, and Guerrero is sweating it out all night, every night.