Review: Anthony Gomes – Electric Field Holler
Posted on: Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015
Anthony Gomes – Electric Field Holler
(Up 2 Zero Entertainment)
Born in Toronto, Canada in 1970, Anthony’s childhood years were filled with the ever-evolving maturity of blues and rock music, in fact, one could say he grew up to the sound of the seventies. Throughout his youth he studiously studied the blues and eagerly practiced and honed his guitar skills; in fact the teenage guitar slinger was so conscientious that he graduated from the University of Toronto with a C.P. Stacey award for his masters degree that focused upon the racial and cultural evolution of blues music, this thesis was in fact so highly regarded that it was subsequently published as a book in 2014.
To enable him to get closer to the music of his idols who so inspired him, those being B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, he moved to Chicago in the late 1980s. After becoming accepted on the musical scene there he became a backing musician for Magic Slim and The Teardrops, with this experience under his musical belt he formed his own band which went on to win the first annual Buddy Guy’s Legends “Best Unsigned Blues Band” competition in 1998.
Around this time he released his debut album, “Blues in Technicolor”. Since that time Anthony has successfully consolidated on his subsequent album releases and his noteworthy tours of North America and Europe. Now, from his home base of St. Louis, Missouri, he has presented to the world his latest ten track album which fizzes with an inviting mixture of the old and the new but, with an interesting twist. Anthony takes guitar and vocal duties with Theo Harden; bass, Chad Cromwell; drums, David Smith; Keyboards, R. Scott Bryan and Glen Caruba; percussion.
Over the years, Anthony has absorbed a great deal from the many and various musical influences that have been swirling around, from the inescapable lure of the blues through to the emergence of rock and roll and latterly rock. With this in mind he wraps the listener up in a heavy hanging blues base which is interwoven with the engaging footstomping pomp of Aerosmith and the sure footed strutting blues rock attitude of Free, combined with an engaging looser, guitar driven engine that reminds one of early Z.Z. Top.
All this is held together and directed by Anthony’s commandingly rasping hoarse vocals which he has immersed in the viscous and earthy rural delta feelings and emotions that have been expressed over so many years. The album kicks off with the sound of a severely pummelled cow bell, the classic calling to arms to rockers old and new and it is this that fuels the marching and stomping of “Turn It Up”, the accompanying raw, seventies tightly packed ferocious and growling guitar sears into your mind.
“Whiskey Train”, continues this theme but with a more pronounced slowburning blues feel, the tenaciously driven guitar line reels you into the number where you experience some very fine pain filled woven solos. The stomping percussion of “Blueschild” introduces an irresistible, swaggering and weaving guitar that emphasises exactly where his musical heart lies.
On a more sombre note the hypnotic bass and energetically dancing guitar flourishes of “Nowhere Is Home”, focuses his talent and your mind on the inedible fact that there are more than one and a half million homeless children in the American system and no one seems to care.
On a more humorous note the lyrics of “The Blues Ain’t The Blues No More”, state that the blues is a fast running river and what was, will be no more and where the crossroads, once were the back porch property of the devil, he now, has been evicted in favour of gift shops, gas stations and doughnut sellers, this is presented in a rich, thick swampy resonator infused blues. This is a very welcome grinding, pedal flooring rock blues cruncher!
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