Maybe with the Crown Royal mojo bag hanging off the Marshall Amp and the dream catcher dangling from the mike stand, Ruf Recording artist Anthony Gomes might have been trying conjure up some musical hoodoo. His band Soul Cowboys consisting of drummer Peter Lang, bass player David Karns and keyboardist Dylan St. John were akin to Jesse James desperadoes riding into town and terrorizing the locals.
At a very crowded Darwins, Gomes was part preacher, part soul man, part rock n roller with a little blues thrown in the mix. Anthony is an animated performer who doesn't settle for people sitting like stones. An Anthony Gomes concert is simply a rock n roll revival at its best.
Gomes actively pursues the philosophy of evolving through music. This provides the leverage in making him a charismatic performer and not simply going through the motions by covering beaten traditional textbook standards.
With human magnetism blending sexual swagger and entertainment moxie, Gomes gave two high energy sets of music that made people dance, scream and leave them breathless. Both sets always roared out of the starting gate and the music had the impact of a howitzer cannon. When Gomes did slow it down to change the mood, you immediately felt a sense of relief and appreciated the relaxed moments.
Being a Nashville resident for several years has no doubt been inspirational to Anthony. He cranked a country rock blitz in "Rebel Highway." Dylan St. John's honky tonk keyboards made the country gospel "Carolina" a down home piece of Southern heritage. On occasion, Gomes would leave the stage to let the rhythm section of Karns and Lang solo. Karns' slap technique and Langs' sledgehammer attack had all the equivalent of a minefield going off.
Anthony has the vocal cords to make the songs come to life. But the guitar freaks in the crowd reveled in the volcanic riffage he laid down. Gomes has no problems in playing the guitar god to the hilt. He can throw in a dash of Eddie Van Halen and play a whirlwind of notes while laying a hot slab of funk on the platter.
Perhaps it was due to the recent Led Zeppelin reunion that Anthony threw in "Heartbreaker" during the second set. Unlike the lp version, Anthony puts his own stamp on it. Instead of Zeppelinizing it, the song becomes funkarama. But Gomes throws the obligatory Jimmy Page solo in there that even the old guru himself might like.
With a conglomeration of rock, soul, blues, country and funk in the stew pot, Gomes takes these seasonings and creates a gumbo of music that rides a soul train into a grooveyard of fun. The blues nazis have no love for Anthony. While Gomes can't please everybody, he certainly has a following in people who want to raise the roof, scream and holler like they are at some tent revival. These are the voodoo charms of the blues. And there is no higher priest then Anthony Gomes.