Blues is a way of life. It’s in your blood and the air you breathe. African-American slaves in the cotton fields of the American South maybe have sole claims over the creation of the musical genre we all have come to know & love, but EVERYONE’S GOT THE BLUES!
Perfect example is the case of one of the most popular blues-rock musicians around these days. Anthony Gomes is a Portuguese-Canadian from Toronto but he’s considered to be one of the leading lights of the genre. Released on August 27, 2002, Unity – his 3rd album overall, brought him a lot of critical acclaim & credits.
The funky rocking blues of When the Walls Come Down gets things started, although it’s a touch of sadness, felt after September 11th, 2001. The cd then segues into the utterly danceable Upside (To The Downside), which says that there’s a silver lining to every dark cloud. That even in the darkest times, there’s something good to come out of it. The emotional ballad Darkest Before The Dawn, a lament about a lost lover and the feeling of loneliness. This song is very popular as a singalong with his audiences. The funkiness returns in the form of Do Watchaya Want. The horn section emphasizes the danceable factor of this song.
A poignant & though provoking song, the acoustic If You Could Rule The World puts the question to the listener – would you & how would you change the situation if you had the chance? Blindog, yes it’s one word and not a typo on my side, is about asking someone to let go of dreams of granduer and take a chance on a poor boy. Going Down Slow is a piano driven slow gospel blues number, complete with a choir backing him. The song is about asking for salvation & help.
Unity starts off as acoustic (acoustiphonic lo-fi) before going into a full blown upbeat rhythmn & blues track, with backup singer & horn sections. It’s a song about universal brotherhood and harmony. Back to the down & dirty blues in Trash Talkin’ Jive, as Gomes says to a cheating woman to stop lying and come clean. Gomes then takes the popular term ‘lonely at the top’ and turns it around to claim that it’s Lonely At The Bottom too! It’s as if saying to the guy on top, “hey atleast you have your success”.
Gomes closes the album with a stylistic nod back to his second album, the acoustic Sweet Stringin’ Soul, cooling off with the country-blues of “Bad For You.
An accomplished & polished effort that will keep you company during the high times as well as the low. Worth ever cent you can spend on it. Here’s a live recording of Darkest Before The Down – it’s a poor quality camera maybe but the song will still shine.