Three years after his debut album, Max Gomez is back with Me & Joe, a smooth and sparkly five-song EP that promises a newfound eclecticism from the New Mexico songwriter. Gomez delivers his latest batch of songs with an easy twang that arrives at the halfway point between tender folk balladry of Kris Kristofferson and the pop melodicism of Coldplay's Chris Martin.
On "Sweet Cruel World," the 29 year-old singer works a convincing blues pastiche, after strumming the heartsick blues on the folk-pop crooner "Make It Me." "If you love somebody, baby," he sings on that song with a yearning desperation, "make it me." Produced by Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Wilco, Kathleen Edwards) and rounded out by a group of session pros and veteran co-writers including roots-ace Greg Leisz and Memphis legend Keith Sykes, Me & Joe is a free-flowing sampler of roots-pop that touches on blues, folk, melancholy rock and campfire-pop with touchstones that range from Ramblin' Jack Elliott to Jack Johnson.