Taos, New Mexico-based singer/songwriter/guitarist Max Gomez got his first axe as a Christmas gift when he was 10, learned the basics and then delved into the blues style of Big Bill Broonzy, the gritty lyrical frankness of Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson, and the western- country hooks of Michael Martin Murphey as his models. Since then he has written a passel of fine songs and held his own sharing stages in Taos and Red River, New Mexico and nationally with the likes of Ray Wylie Hubbard, Chuck Prophet, James McMurtry, Shawn Mullins, Robert Mirabal, Buddy Miller, Jim Lauderdale, Patty Griffin, John Hiatt and many another star. I first met Max Gomez when Ray Wylie introduced him to me at the Mother Lode Saloon in Red River a few years back, and I was really pleased when Gomez sat in with Ray Wylie on stage. Since then, we have chatted a few times, most recently at Michael Hearne’s 2017 Taos Big Barn Dance this past September.
Still in his twenties, Gomez cut his musical “teeth” at the late lamented “Old Blinking Light” Taos roadhouse (where Lynn Anderson and Mentor Williams stopped in to hear him), while running more than a bit wild as a teenager in those northern New Mexico hills and Rio Grande river gorges. “It’s still the Wild West compared to any city or suburb. You can get away with just about anything there, and we were turned loose as kids,” he recalls. At 18, Max Gomez moved to Los Angeles and formed a song writing partnership with Shawn Mullins, who recorded several of Gomez’s songs. In 2013, Gomez released his debut album, Rule the World (New West Records) and Kiefer Sutherland directed the music video for that album’s single, “Run From You.”
Max Gomez’s new EP Me & Joe, produced by Jim Scott, features Max himself and Doug Pettibone on guitars and Greg Leisz on pedal steel. “Senseless Love” and “Make it Me” touch on love lost and love found again, while “Sweet Cruel World” mines the emotional bedrock of the blues. “Rule the World (Reprise)” re-works the title song of Gomez’s debut album, and “Make it Me” strikes a pleasantly hopeful note. The EP’s title refers to “Joe,” a song about coffee, cocaine and enduring pain, written by Max’s musical partner Jed Zimmerman and performed with multiple cellos and a steel guitar complimenting Max Gomez’s hypnoticly soothing vocal. Three minutes of whirling, swirling bliss that sticks in a listener’s ear and prompts replays.
Me & Joe will work its way into your mind and into your world, and you just may discover, pleasantly, that Max Gomez is starting to rule (again)!
You can order the cd and check out Max Gomez’s ongoing performance tour at www.maxgomezmusic.com .
[Max Gomez opened the show for Ray Wylie Hubbard at The Motherlode Saloon in Red River, New Mexico on Saturday, October 7, 2017 and gave us a fine cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”.]