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Guitar great Anthony Gomes set for Rockland show May 26

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Guitar great Anthony Gomes set for Rockland show May 26 (Photo by Steven Jensen)

(Author’s note: My sincere apologies to Anthony Gomes. I interviewed him for this story on Tuesday, May 14. Due to a mysterious digital glitch, the interview was not retrievable for transcription. We covered a broad range of topics over 20 minutes. While I recall the essence of his responses, I don’t have enough confidence in my short-term memory to attempt to recreate them here.)

Guitarist Anthony Gomes is set to bring his trio to Rockland’s Time Out Pub on Sunday, May 26, at 4 p.m. for what he promises will be a show full of “high voltage blues.”

Gomes, 2017 European Blues Award winner for Best Musician/Live Performance, will bring his “Peace, Love & Loud Guitars” tour to Maine with bassist Sean Holland and drummer Jeremy Howard.

No stranger to performing in the state of Maine, Gomes and his band performed in Rockland’s Time Out Pub last fall, and at the North Atlantic Blues Festival in 2017. 

During my interview with Gomes, he cited Maine as an important tour stop, mentioning the legions of Maine blues fans he’s met during previous visits to the state. He also went out of his way to cite the North Atlantic Blues Festival as one of the most important blues festivals in the world.

Gomes has been known to play a variety of different guitars over the years but currently favors a Gibson Flying V (pictured) after photographer Steven Jensen suggested it for a series of promotional images. 

Gomes cited the guitar’s sound, feel and visual proximity to the peace sign as reasons for why he is putting it to good use on his current tour.   

A native of Toronto, Gomes, 49, resides in St. Louis, Missouri.

Gomes’s 10th studio album “Peace, Love & Loud Guitars” was named best blues album of 2018 by Blues Rock Review. 

During my interview with him, Gomes cited his friendship with the late blues great B.B. King as something he will always cherish. King gave the musician a key piece of advice when it comes to hiring musicians for his band. 

King reminded Gomes that it’s important that he get along well with the musicians he shares the stage with each evening, saying that it’s better to hire a person who may only be 70% of a musician but 100% of a man than it is to hire one that is 100% of a musician but only 70% of a man.

When King passed away in May 2015, Gomes shared his thoughts on the music legend through his social media pages. 

“The King of the Blues spent a long time teaching me about the music business and how to be a professional musician,” Gomes wrote. “He asked for my phone number and said he would do whatever he could to help.

That night I decided to be a professional musician. I had always dreamed of playing music full time but I was scared. B.B. gave me the courage to follow my dream. The next day I told my parents I wanted to play music for a living.

Last year, I finally got around to telling B.B. how important he has been in my life. He’s such a humble man and shies away from praise that it’s often difficult to share these stories with him.

I said, “B.B., you have inspired so many of us to live our dreams. You made a white boy from Canada want to play the blues. You were there in a way that no one else could be. You believed in me in a time when few did. So many people tried to discourage my dreams of playing the blues. I have been met with a lot of criticism along the way that almost made me want to quit. Many times. Frankly, it’s not easy being a white Canadian blues rocker in the blues purist world. But I always thought, B.B. King believes in me. I have to make him proud. The God’s honest truth is that I wouldn’t be here without you.”

Tickets for the Anthony Gomes performance at the Time Out Pub in Rockland on May 26 are available under the tour tab at www.AnthonyGomes.com. A free 12-song album, compiled from six previous studio records, is available for download at www.FreeGomesAlbum.com

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