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Anthony Gomes finds new ways to get the blues

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Anthony Gomes surprised fans last year with his acoustic-flavored album "Before the Beginning." But he's plugging in again for the two albums he currently has in progress.

The Canadian-born, St. Louis-based guitarist and bandleader says the very next project, tentatively titled "Electric Field Holler," will blend the acoustic sensibilities with "a couple extra colors on the palette, while the subsequent "Peace, Love and Loud Guitars" will be "even further into blues-rock, really electric. It's a trilogy in a weird way; the next one is more middle ground, and the last one will be probably the ultimate fan favorite.

"It's just really cool to take this sort of journey. The artists that I really admired have sometimes deconstructed themselves entirely to stay fresh. Sometimes they lose sales when they do that, but they don't lose the respect of their fans because they know they're being honest with their art. And then when you make an album that's more in line with what you're known for, then (the fans) return because they know the integrity is there."

No matter which direction he takes, however, Gomes says the lessons from "Before the Beginning" have made an indelible mark on anything he does from here on out.

"There's nowhere to hide when you do an acoustic recording," Gomes, ??, explains. "It forced me as a singer and a guitar player to take a very minimalist approach and figure out how to cram all that passion into it. You can't really blaze on an acoustic guitar, you know? So instead of hitting four notes you hit one and make that one note say so much.

"It's a real Zen-like thing. You come out of it a changed person and a changed artist, and I feel very privileged that I've been able to have this artistic experience in a commercial world where album sales are very important."

Anthony Gomes performs at 8 p.m. Friday, May 9, at Callahan's Music Hall 2105 South Blvd., Auburn Hills. Tickets are $12 and $17.50. Call 248-858-9508 or visit www.atcallahans.com.

Web Site: www.atcallahans.com

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