The sophomore release from Anthony Gomes will ascertain him as more than a funky blues rocker. Prior to this release, the Toronto, ON born and raised Gomes was best known for his steamy, hip-grindin', must-dance brand of blues. The black and white CD cover implies a return to the very roots of music. The all original, 43 minute, 13-song offering is an effort of growth and intense emotion, delivered with the high-energy we have come to expect even though its entirely acoustic. He bares his soul on this CD as most cuts simply feature him singing and playing guitar with an unplugged backing band.
Anthony Gomes handles all the guitars and vocals on the CD. At a young age, he has been blessed with a voice that most singers need half a lifetime to develop. He is capable of singing softly one moment and furiously the next while throwing in some serious gruffness. His guitar playing will have guitarists twice his age green with envy. Overall, emotions flow strongly from his voice and the sentiment is echoed from his guitar.
Gomes states, "There is certainly a strong gospel influence on the record. I hear that sound in my favorite artists like B.B. King, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin." You will hear that sound in at least 3 songs. The title track is gospel tinged thanks to the choir-like backing vocals of Joan Collaso and Rene Mohannon. Lyrically, it appears to give homage to Robert Johnson. Images of a Sunday service come to mind on the infectious "Higher". The tune could easily win a Dove award. "When I Play The Blues" is another lively gospel-influenced track. You can't resist getting up to jump and shout on this one.
Guest musician, ace harpist, Sugar Blue appears on several cuts. On "Heartbreak Train" he makes his harmonica sound like a train rolling down the tracks. Whereas on "Low Down Dirty Deal" and "Wolf In The Henhouse" he lets wail the way most blues guitarists play a solo.
Throughout something seems out of place. What can a young musician originally from Canada possibly know about delta blues? Maybe what is out of place is the sure fact that Gomes is adapt at playing this style of music. The CD contains everything you would least expect from a blues-rocker which makes for the surprise release of 2000. This time around Anthony Gomes has focused purely on the music. Together, he has the voice, guitar talent and looks that kill. His website is right on the money with the following description: "Behold the electrifyin', testifyin' and spellbindin' soul sonic force of the Anthony Gomes Band. It'll move ya, it'll groove ya, and it ain't gonna lose ya."
For CDs, booking and information, contact: City Hall Records, 101 Glacier Pt., San Rafael, CA 94909 USA Phone: (415) 457-9080 Website: www.cityhallrecords.com Band website: www.anthonygomes.com
This review is copyright © 2001 by Tim Holek, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
Click button to join
our mailing list!