Anthony Gomes made good use of 2020’s forced withdrawal from his full touring schedule by making a new album.
No stranger to Fort Wayne, the No. 1 Billboard Blues Artist and his band will return to the stage of the renamed Baker Street Centre (formerly C2G Music Hall) on June 26.
Gomes was scheduled to perform at the same venue about 15 months ago, but circumstances dictated that he, and most of the world, stay home instead. Now that it is safe to go out and enjoy life again, Gomes told Whatzup that he is itching to get back and perform for us.
“My passion is my job,” he said. “Now, there are things that have to do with my job that are not my passion, like driving long distances, but my therapy is getting out in front of 500 people and turning it up. I haven’t had those opportunities lately, so it’s going to be exciting. I think everybody is going to be really pumped up. I think everybody is going to come together and rock and have a great time.”
Gomes is touring in support of his new album, Containment Blues, which was released in October. A bit of a departure from the maximum volume, all-out blues rock of his previous effort Peace, Love & Loud Guitars, the album came as a bit of a surprise, even to Gomes, as he and his band had already completed about 90 percent of an entirely different album when the pandemic hit.
“That (different) album was really sassy and had some humor and was in your face, which seemed really inappropriate and not timely,” Gomes said.
Containment Blues could be interpreted as a soundtrack to the pandemic as seen through Gomes’ eyes. He said the songs on the album were written as events were happening in his own life last year.
“I felt this was a very historic time and that, as an artist, I should try and document my emotions and what I’m feeling in this time,” Gomes said.
“That produced an unexpected baby in Containment Blues. We started it in April and it was out in October. It’s kind of fun when these things happen and it was just very cool and unexpected. Life inspiring art.”
Gomes went on to say that he wanted this new record to be a bit more understated than previous efforts, focusing on the songs and the messages rather than the usual spectacular musicianship he and his band are known for.
“I’m really excited about doing something different this time, knowing full well that the circus will be back in town in 12 months,” he said. “I wanted it to be less about flash, fast notes, and blood on the microphone. This was just a nice change of pace.”
Adjusting to Life at Home
Gomes managed to keep busy during his touring hiatus, but adjusting to life off the road wasn’t easy for him.
He said he managed to get through it all by immersing himself in his music and creating something new. He came out on the other side with a new respect for the life he has, being one of the most recognizable names in blues, as well as for the simple things life has to offer.
“I’ve toured for so long, I realized that I didn’t have a home rhythm,” Gomes said.
“Touring is hard. After you catch up on sleep, clean your house, pay your bills, and do the things that need to be taken care of, you get right back out on the road. Now I’ve had several months off the road and found there is a rhythm to a home life I’ve never really experienced. It’s like, ‘Oh, this is what everyday people do.’ It’s been a great experience on that end, and I think when I get back to touring I’ll have a better understanding and balance when I’m back at home.”
Ready to Tour and Perform
While speaking about his newfound fondness for home life, Gomes said Fort Wayne is a lot like home to him since he’s played here on so many occasions.
He said he gets excited every time he sees the Summit City on his tour itinerary because The Fort has always supported him.
“Fort Wayne’s like the rock n’ roll capital of the world,” he said. “Blues rock n’ roll is a Midwest, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri sort of thing. They just get it. Those are my type of people. Fort Wayne shows are always great.”
But there is a sacrifice to playing here, one that he is more than willing to make.
“I always go broke when I’m there because I go to Sweetwater afterwards and give them all my money,” he said. “But it’s still a good relationship.”