With this release Anthony Gomes wants to bill himself as a 21st Century guitar hero although, with a master’s degree from U of T, he knows the blues is much more than that. He showcased his deep knowledge of the blues on his Electric Field Holler in 2015. For album #13, he has written some very fine songs indeed. As you might tell from the album title, this is a blues rock extravaganza. He calls “Come Down (from heaven BB King)” (because this kingdom has no king) a modern work song, and his guitar work shows pure homage. This was the first single and a major highlight. The flat-out chugging rocker “White Trash Princess” jumps right out at you, she’s a gun-toting femme fatale he desires. The grinding “Blues in The First Degree” sees him pronounce his girl guilty. Especially good is his boogie shuffle “The Whiskey Made Me Do It”, his explanation for bad behavior. It’s just possible this excuse won’t be sufficient as he gives us the lurid details his crime. Loud guitars do open the anthemic title song as a chorus joins him in his plea for ‘three things worth fighting for’. It’s actually better than it sounds – it is no doubt a crowd favourite. Gomes has some fun with the Robert Johnson myth in “Stealin’ From the Devil”, he’s going to hell to get Johnson back. He plays some mean slide and has a gospel chorus help out – very nice. “The Only Woman I’ve Ever Loved” is a solid slow blues with a rather more sincere vocal than he’s used on some of the other songs here along with some stellar soloing. Gomes has the leather-throated voice to carry over his power trio sound and he certainly has some excellent new songs. Mike Brignardello on bass and Greg Morrow on drums provide all the support he needs. He has some help on keys and background vocals but this is his show all the way. There’s a lot of competition for 21st Century guitar hero but Gomes has thrown down the gauntlet now. His web site, www.anthonygomes.com, shows Quebec and New Brunswick dates on this side of the border but he’s built a huge career in the States and that’s where he spends most of his time.

November 2018 - Jack Semple
November 2018 - Kat Danser