Back In The Day

by Tom Wavra

Track listing: Back in the Day, Heard It in the Wind, State of Mind, Summer in the Delta, Deadwood

Tom Wavra has played his ass off for 20 years and counting. With a voice that can lead an audience from a true-to-form low-end Johnny Cash cover to the shrieks and shrills of Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, Wavra has honed his craft through countless hours of rehearsals and performing live. Now he's put out his first solo record, Back In The Day, a 5-song EP that captures aspects of the massive catalog of music he's drawn on throughout his career.

The EP begins with the title track, "Back In The Day," an anthem both lyrically and musically. Just was we all yearn for cherished years gone by, Wavra hearkens back to the days of old. But as the 6-1/2 minute epic progresses, so too do the chorus lyrics--Wavra takes you from back in the day to the final chorus existing in present moment. "Right here today, standin' proud, it's never too loud..." This marriage of past and present comes across a bit autobiographical, allowing the listener to draw their own memories as they sing

"Heard It In The Wind" takes a bit of a turn with its bossa nova feel, featuring the high end of Wavra's vocal range. "State of Mind" then kicks things into gear with its uptempo pace, piano-heavy riff, some Hammond B3 organ (always a good idea), and a stellar guitar solo.

It's worth taking a moment to recognize the album's musicianship and production. The project is chock full of a veritable all-star line-up of Minneapolis area heavy hitters. The production is lush, the instrumentation widely varied from the B3 to mandolins, keys. Ultimately taking session from 2014 to 2024, there is nothing rushed about Back In The Day. Wavra approached this record as a culmination of his career in multiple bands, playing with numerous Twin Cities musicians. Everything about the album just feels right.

Back In The Day concludes with "Deadwood," a boogie woogie blues number that channels Jerry Lee and Little Richard in helluva fun closer. It's a straight-up 3-minute rocker with a cherry-on-top B3 solo, some blistering guitar work, conjuring up what a Tom Wavra show must be like between last call and his show's end--just one more banger to shut it all down. 

Check out all things Tom Wavra--upcoming show dates, his social platforms and where you can stream Back In The Day--all found at

Posted on 6/17/24