The Sand In My Shoes (EP)

Terry Gomes

Independent release, 2014

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


There's always a joy in hearing an artist return to the music that inspired him or her, to fully commit an album to their roots and influences. It happens a lot with the blues, sometimes with gospel, folk or country, rarely with calypso and Caribbean music. Yet the latter is the path that Terry Gomes has taken on his fifth release, a five-song EP titled my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Sand In My Shoes.

That title is meant to evoke images of sunkissed beaches, crashing surf, palm trees and tranquility, and this disc is the perfect soundtrack to that atmosphere. It's also a departure for Gomes; hints of this island-inspired guitar work have appeared on his previous albums, but it was usually tempered by folk, pop and light country influences. Here, it's simply five upbeat, laidback songs that would go well with a Bahama Mama and a tiki torch.

Now, you read that and you think of Jimmy Buffett or something, but Gomes does not pander. Because calypso and Latin American music have been part of his personality for so long, the songs here are genuine and heartfelt. Even the titles evoke the mood of each song, from the lovely beach stroll "Hey Sweet Shirley" to the reflective "Tradewinds" to the joyful "Look Alive!" That joy is a crucial element of Gomes' music ever since Gomesongs, and it finds a natural home here.

If there's a downside, it's that the five songs are very similar to each other, almost sounding like one long 16-minute song with five movements. Perhaps that's what Gomes intended, yet one wonders if there were more facets of this type of music to explore, different tempos, instruments and moods that could have been used. Maybe that will happen on future discs and this is a dry run...although, knowing Gomes, the next disc will probably be techno-jazz covers of Megadeth B-sides or something.

Still, The Sand In My Shoes is an appealing, cheerful, sun-drenched journey that is as fun to listen to as it no doubt was the Gomes to create.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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