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Anthony Gomes

Live

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Anthony Gomes Live made it to Billboard Blues Chart’s numero uno spot, just above Stevie Ray Vaughn/Vol. 1 – Real Deal: Greatest Hits. This Canadian rocker gone Nashville boy has regularly been embraced by the blues world, playing at festivals with John Primer and Jimmy Burns out in the cornfields of Iowa, at the Kingston Mines in Chicago and other Midwestern blues meccas.

On the Live CD, Gomes and Biscuit Miller (on bass) are locked in, along with keyboardist “Church” (Tom Hamric) for a tight and powerful message of love, the cure for all ills. Bringing with them seasoned renditions from Gomes’ last album, the successful Music is the Medicine,  the band is back with their sound that is a combination of hard rock, blues and gospel.

Gomes’ Nashville collaborations are paying off; his songwriting and playing got noticed by C-Sharp Consulting’s Kent Anderson, who will be managing the act, seeking recording contracts and setting up tours. The CD is polished, with one of the cleanest sounds ever on a live album. Gomes and Miller are great on CD, but they are even better live, where the girls all stand up and sing the words to the melodic “Blue Bird.” Anthony Gomes Live is one that will be remembered for a long time.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Countdown
Gomes opens up to his live audience with this intriguing 15-second guitar lead in.
Up 2 Zero
After the guitar intro, “Up 2 Zero” carries a steady rock beat, heavy bass line and a feel remiscent of the hard rock of the ’70s.
Bluebird
“Bluebird” is a popular tune at Gomes’ live shows, and the funky bass line and guitar riffs are a lead in to the melodic refrain “fly away,” which gives way to a deeper, harder sound, alternating back and forth, melodic/melancholy, etc. Gomes adds some great slides and sound effects and lets the band get a chance to solo, stretching it out to longer than seven minutes.
Heartbreaker
After seven-minute-and-forty-four-second “Bluebird,” Gomes shows a little more of his Zeppelin influence by covering one of their biggest hits “Heartbreaker.” Not an easy song to tackle, Gomes rises to the occasion and adds some of his own ideas, and his guitar work speaks for itself.
Prelude in Blues
“Prelude…” opens with a church organ (Baptist, not Catholic) that sets the stage for a soulful guitar solo that reaches far and holds the listener on the edge of his or her seat. 
When the Right Woman Does You Wrong
While the listener is hanging, Gomes’ voice comes in over the top and full of realistic sadness and deep down blues. Slow and drawn out, the organ and electric guitar give this all the Chicago influence a song can get. It’s a great number filled with innovative dynamics.
Falling
Gomes shows his faith when he opens with “Thought I could stand up to a mountain / to stumble here was not my choice and what’s more is I am humble and I surrender to your voice / I am falling into your arms.” Upbeat and positive, “Falling” is the best song on the album. Watch for it on the Billboard charts.
War on War
Gomes talks before this one, saying it’s not a “political statement” but love that is his intention. I mentioned that phrase in my review of Music is the Medicine. I stand corrected; however, my intended meaning of “political statement” was not directed at any particular battle, but war in general. My apologies if misspoke in any way. The song is still strong and protest-like in tone, but with a very clear message of peace and love.
Won’t Let You Down
Tambourine, piano and harmonizing make this a catchy rock ballad.
Music is the Medicine
This is a live version of the title song of Gomes’ last album of the same name. Funky, hard and danceable, “Music is the Medicine” has something for everyone, whether they are rock, funk, jazz or dance music fans. He hearkens back to Ike and Tina Turner with lyrics such as “shake a tail feather.”
Wings of a Song
Gomes is back with a message of love as a solution to problems, especially choosing the right path. He says “it’s time to give praise to peace.” Very gospel in tone and delivery, “Wings of a Song” talks about true freedom.
Testify
Gomes chooses to end the Live CD with the powerful, explosive “Testify,” which talks about people loving one another. The strong delivery, use of scales and vocal dynamics carry this one along at a fast clip. It’s a powerful song with a powerful message.
 
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