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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Bman's Exclusive Interview With Anthony Gomes

I had the opportunity to catch songwriter/singer/guitarist extraordinaire Anthony Gomes and talk with him about his new release Up 2 Zero. This interview was conducted last week prior to my reviewing the release but I believe that you will still find it interesting.

Bman: Hi Anthony: Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I’ve been following your career for a number of years and am actually pretty anxious to see what the new Up 2 Zero recording sounds like.
The pre hype all indicates that it’s your bluest effort.

Anthony: Yes, I think it is our bluest effort since our debut, Blues In Technicolor. I think there are a couple of reasons for that. First, there are songs that follow the traditional 12 bar format like One Last Time and Room 414. So, you can’t really get much more blues than that. Second, there’s songs like Voodoo Moon and Last Bluesman Gone that have this deep connection to the delta. Third, we really tried to keep the production to a minimum. One or two guitar tracks and stripped down vocals. We wanted it raw and in your face. That says “Blues” to me. No auto-tuned vocals or computer enhanced non-sense.

Bman: You already have some pretty notable credentials in the contemporary blues market. What makes this recording different?

Anthony: I think the production style is quite different. I also think this CD has some of my most mature guitar playing on it. I know some people like the pyrotechnics, but I wanted to get to the heart of things. I am very proud of Love Sweet Love and Anywhere You Run.
I think, without a doubt, my singing on this CD is better than any other one of my albums. For the first time, I feel like my voice is captured.

Bman: You can draw some real musical intensity to the stage when you step on the gas. Are you stepping back a little from the blues rock efforts and moving a little toward the soul sound?

Anthony: I feel like I have always had a soul sound to my music. I would say I am moving closer to blues, actually. That’s why I started playing in the first place. Or, maybe it would be best said to find a happy medium between the two.

Bman: You have a great voice for delivering the soul/blues style of music. I believe that it plays in your favor.

Anthony: Thanks Bman. The check is in the mail. I love the passion and personality of the blues. I also love a little melody that soul/gospel brings.

Bman: I can definitely see that. I believe that since both waters started in the same spring the reuniting of the similar but different genre's can be very exciting. I believe you do it very successfully.
I’m really a gear head. I think of you primarily as a Strat player but I notice that you use a lefty Strat (upside down), a Tele special and what looks to be a pretty old Les Paul as well… mostly played through a 70’s Marshall head and cab. Do you have guitars that you keep around for fun or are you strictly a musician with the tools he needs?

Anthony: I play a 70s Marshall and late 60s Fender Super. I love Strats, Teles, Les Pauls and play all of those live. Well, the tools are fun. Ha! I think you want a guitar to inspire your playing.
Usually the song will tell you which one to play.

Bman: I appreciate old small amps for a special tone but it’s really hard to beat some of the old power heads like the early Marshalls,Fender Twins and Supers and Hiwatt Customs. Just can’t get that kind of sound out of a little box through a PA.

Anthony: You just can’t beat ‘em. I've tried a bunch of stuff and I end up going back to the Holy Grail of Marshalls. Fenders and Vox.

Bman: Back to your new recording, Up 2 Zero, I find it interesting that you’re looking back to Muddy Waters or Robert Johnson for inspiration. I feel that this is exactly where many blues artists fall short. They try to build on top of the new blues (the grandchildren of the blues). It’s like adding a second story on the top of a one story house. The foundation isn’t there. Going back to the earth and building from the ground is a solid premise.

Anthony: The closer you get to the source, the more of your own personality you can find. That’s what I believe anyway.

Bman: I’ve been hearing some really primitive stripped down blues music lately that really kicks my butt. I mean the new technology is there but is it a good thing or is it taking us farther from the answer?

Anthony: The devil is in the details. Technology is a good thing. Everyone got freaked out when Muddy Waters plugged in an electric guitar. But, it was very cool. It all comes down to how you use technology. When we start losing soul or the human touch, that’s where I think the trouble begins.

Bman: I think that you're right on there! I should have a copy of your new recording any day now and then I’ll see where you’re headed. A lot of things change from the first concept of a recording, putting it down and getting the final product out. How satisfied are you with this new recording? Is there anything that you would change?

Anthony: There’s lots of things I would change. But I am very happy with it. I am already working on the next one.

Bman: Your fans are going to love this new release and knowing there is another in the works is great news!

I notice that you are starting your new release support tour in Chicago and covering the Northeast and Canada…then southeast and catching the Midwest on your way home. Any thoughts of coming out west?

Anthony: Yes, we are definitely coming out west. I think sometime in the fall!

Bman: I'll be watching for you! Good luck with the new recording. I really appreciate your time.
Is there anything that you want to share with your fans that we haven’t discussed?

Anthony: Thank you Bman for a wonderful interview and taking the time to talk. I’d like to let your people know that they can download a free MP3 of our first single “Love Sweet Love” online "HERE"

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