Anthony Gomes released his tenth studio album entitled “Electric Field Holler” on March 17th landing at #3 on the Billboard Blues Albums Chart. Born and raised in Toronto Canada, he relocated to Chicago in the mid-90’s armed with a three song demo tape entitled “Groove-a-licious Blues” and set about making a name for himself. Soon after arriving, Anthony became joined Magic Slim & The Teardrops before forming his own band that went on to win the 1st Annual Buddy Guy’s Legends “Best Unsigned Blues Band” competition in 1998. Anthony now calls St. Louis home. An electrifying live act, Anthony spends most of each year touring the US and Canada where he has shared the stage with the likes of B.B. King, Eric Sardinas & Big Motor, Buddy Guy, Robert Plant, Joe Bonamassa, Heart and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
Anthony lives and breathes The Blues yet can rock with the best of them. As his bio states “Gomes is an award winning blues history scholar, earning the University of Toronto’s C.P. Stacey Award for the highest overall academic grade point average by a history major. Anthony completed his master’s degree thesis on the racial and cultural evolution of blues music, graduating with high distinction. In 2014, his thesis was published and nominated for the Best Blues Book of the Year by Blues 411.” If you get a chance, order his book from his website, it is amazing!
Kicking off the album, Anthony must have had a fever and the only prescription that would do the trick was more cowbell because “Turn It Up!” opens up with just that, cowbell. Who doesn’t love cowbell? A rockin’ tune with a swingin’ groove and autobiographical lyrics. Anthony sums it up best with the lyric “I got a Blues soul with a Rock N’ Roll Heart!” I really digg how Anthony lays back in the groove flavoring the track with B.B. King-esque guitar stabs then lets rip during the solo. “Back Door Scratchin'” has an Aerosmith swagger to it lyrically and musically. Rap DJ’s must be scratchin’ their head over Anthony’s abuse of the strings with a plectrum. “Whiskey Train” is a Slow Blues that has Anthony pouring his heart out through his vocal.
Anthony collaborated with 15 year old Blues Rock phenom Tallan Noble Latz on “Blueschild.” It is an interesting collaboration lyrically as it is obviously autobiographical for both artists yet the fact that Tallan is just fifteen adds a neat little twist when you stop and think about it. “Nowhere Is Home” with its hypnotic bass line reminds me of what you may have heard from Don Henley, Bryan Adams, Glenn Frey or Eric Clapton back in the 80’s. It has a real commercial feel to it. Any man can relate to the next track, “Losing Game.” If you’ve dealt with heartbreakers or women of questionable morals then this song is for you.
One of my favorite tracks is “The Blues Ain’t The Blues No More” with its swampy-stomp Delta Blues feel. I’ve always been fascinated with the emotion that a Dobro emits sonically. Throw on a slide and the emotions you can convey are limitless. Anthony tells a story of modernization down at the Crossroads of The Blues and lets his Blues Evangelist side shine. “Junk In The Trunk” finds Anthony with his tongue firmly planted in cheek and his amps on eleven! This ditty should get the ladies shakin’ their ass on the dance floor! Anthony lets rip with another blazing solo that surely left his Strat begging for mercy. Heavy on groove with an addictive chorus that will have you toe tappin’ and singing along, “Love Crazy” has an anthemic feel to it. No doubt, the crowd participation possibilities for this song live are endless!
Raise your hand if you’re a born-again-sinner! *Sticks hand up high* Good, because “Red Handed Blues” drips of all things sinful making it another favorite! A rockin’ tune that tells the story of a group of friends telling their significant others they were going fishing only to take part an alcohol fueled bachelor party. All was fine til the fiancée caught them in the parking lot of their local Gentleman’s Club. “Take me to that preacher now and dump me in holy water cuz I’ve been sticking dollar bills down the G-string of his daughter!” pleads the soon-to-be-married offender. Classic! “Delta Raga” is a short thirty second Middle Eastern flavored instrumental that leads in to album closer “Listen To The Universe.” A tale of “stopping to smell the roses” laid over a Slow Blues.
This isn’t the over thought, almost soulless Blues Rock that gets passed off by the likes of Joe Bonamassa & Eric Clapton these days. This is the Blues Rock that takes you back to the days of Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher, Robin Trower, Pat Travers and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The tempos & moods vary, the message is sometimes light-hearted & fun and at other times insightful but the intent is always pure with Anthony. I think that is something that a few of his contemporaries have traded away for commercial success and an ego stroke. Sonically, it is very well produced, the musicianship is top notch. To me, besides the amazing performances found within, the mix that Beau Hill did of said performances really shines a wonderful light on all the hard work that everyone put in to “Electric Field Holler!” Take a bow everyone because this album will definitely be in the Top 5 of my year-end my Top 15 albums of 2015!
Release Date March 17, 2015
Up 2 Zero Entertainment
1. Turn It Up!
2. Back Door Scratchin’
3. Whiskey Train
5. Nowhere Is Home
6. Losing Game
7. The Blues Ain’t The Blues No More
8. Junk In The Trunk
9. Love Crazy
10. Red Handed Blues
11. Delta Raga
12. Listen To The Universe
Anthony Gomes & Peter Carson
Mixed & Mastered by:
Vocals & Guitars: Anthony Gomes
Bass: Theo Harden
Drums: Chad Cromwell
Keyboards: David Smith
Percussion: R. Scott Bryan & Glen Caruba
Background Vocals: Vicki Hampton, Wendy Moten, Minnie Murphy and Kelly Wild
“Electric Field Holler” EPK
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