Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Album Review: Anthony Gomes, Music is the Medicine

Artist: Anthony Gomes
Title: Music is the Medicine
Writer: Rick Galusha

The latest album by Anthony Gomes, Music is the Medicine’ leans heavily into the rock genre with just the occasional whisper to blues. Produced by uber-dialman Jim Gaines this good time party album sounds wonderful. Gomes’ songs are well paced, highly textured and more about the song than the flash. Interestingly Gomes uses his latest platter to approach contemporary issues such as war, ‘War on War,” co-written with Mark Selby, and universal peace. Granted his lyrics aren’t providing any fodder for grey matter when he sings, “How different can we really be, From the colors of the war machine, Where the blood is red and the money’s green.” However simplicity set against the pulsing push of the band and Gomes’ doodling guitar sound-texturing is admittedly cool.

On the next track, “Love is the Answer” Gomes revs up a faux-gospel sing-a-long anthem that evokes, “People all over the world, Come together, Rise Up, Take a Stand, We got the power in our hands, Understand, Love is the Answer.” Okay, John Lennon he isn’t but he’s making in-roads to issues and singing about something other than back door love and clichéd bluesman braggadocio. Gomes uses the building crescendo to step out of the moment in order to take a tasty nylon string guitar solo only to come back with a well paced guitar solo that will lend itself kindly to live performances.

Gomes’ latest is a highly polished rock n’ roll record that breaks into a “play that funky music white boy” with the song, ‘Everyday Superstar.’ Superstar is a toe-tapping commercial ‘70’s radio friendly soul sound with rock overtones and rich melody lines. On “Testify” Gomes revs up a Kiss-like-riff and a ‘party all night’ when he sings, ‘Kick the door open let the party begin...We’re going right for your ear hole, Then we’re gonna penetrate your soul.” So its not art: put this one in your guilty pleasures stack, clear the chairs out of the room and grab your tennis racket. Its fun, it has a positive message, its far from art and its packed with energy. This is a, ‘roll-down-the-windows-and-let-wind-blow-through-your-hair’ album that fills a niche… but it ain’t blues.

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