When I was real young , I'd go with my Pop on Sundays mornings down to his nightclub, 'the Riverside' to sweep the floor...do a little fishin' in back on the river and I'd play with the instruments left over from the night before on the band stand,,,,. banging on the drums, turning on the electric steel guitar and making' it sound like "cats in heat", on a Hot summer night... and I remember there was a old battered and dented metal guitar ( I now figure this was a pre- war National Duolain... ) and I'd strum across the strings and the 'sound' it would make ,,,would get the hair standing on my arms... a spooky feeling would always come over me ...strange that almost 50 years later... I'm making my living with one.....
I started playing guitar when I was about 7 or so... I'd sling my guitar over my shoulder, walk across the road, through the graveyard and down the railroad tracks to a small one room shack on a swamp and take my lessons, but trying to learn 'she'll be coming around the mountain' and 'turkey in the straw' turned me off fast...... So after a few months of that crap, I started playing the drums and put the guitar away for awhile....I didn't have to learn any chords and I could sit down, so I was pretty happy !!!
About 1966 or so, I was about 14 or 15 and running away from home, and doing a lot of surfing and playing in garage bands, and I ended up at the Newport Folk Festival ,where I met B.B. King !!! Who introduced me to the Legendary' King of the Delta Blues' Son House, who took me aside and told me to" be a good boy , go to church and read the Bible...", all the while Lighten' Hopkins was looking on and laughing at me!!! I was both scared and thrilled, and started playing the guitar again, this time using only open tunings and a slide ( I still don't have a clue when it comes to standard tuning) and learning from the old records of Skip James, Charlie Patton, Bukka White and Son House among others.... and developed , I guess, a style of my own.....
Dusty Sommers on Solo Acoustic guitars,mandolin and National & Dobro guitars...
and whos ever along on the 'ride'!!!!
with sometimes the Legendary ''Mad Dog"Fields on Harp and at times,another acoustic guitarist...
On CD, I was first on 'Sounds from the Underground' in 1996 from Rodell Records in Hollywood,California... a Compliation of music with different styles promoted to a WorldWide audience....
next in 1998 , 'Big River Blues'...(self produced and recorded)...a stark and primitive solo effort in the 'Deep Blues'...on Acoustic, National and Dobro guitars.... which was acclaimed by Gunieve Williams. Blues Editor of Amazon.com.... and the first Indie Artist to be included in the Amazon Christmas Catalog in 99. and the CD ended off the year at #7 in the Indie Acoustic Blues in Sales...
then in late 2002 , with finishing of a few solo songs , 'Blues Take me Home ...' was released...Acoustic Blues with Red Reo, Bruce Vallone, and the Legendary Mad Dog on harp....to much critical aclaim !!!
In Nov of 2003. I appeared on the 'Lanaroo Festival 'CD in Elwood City,PA with the Matt Barranti Band and other great players....
and have been involved with my Alt.Folk/country/bluegrass band 'the Lightin' Brothers' and am currentally working on a acoustic solo CD 'Exile on Big River' due in early Spring 07....check out Dates section for CD release party!
Clouds (Idlewild East/ASCAP)from 'Blues Take me home...'
'First Things First' (Idlewild East/ASCAP)from 'Big River Blues'
Back Way to Nowere' Idlewild East/ASCAP,David Reo Music/BMI
Sun Gonna Shine
from the Blues Editor on Amazon
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Editorial Reviews Amazon.com Reports of the death of old-style Delta blues have been greatly exagg...Editorial Reviews
Reports of the death of old-style Delta blues have been greatly exaggerated. On Big River Blues, J. Dustin Sommers, accompanied solely by a guitar, digs deep into the Delta and comes up with Honeyboy Edwards ("Worried Man Blues"), Skip James ("I'm So Glad"), Charley Patton (a rollicking "Moon Goin' Down"), Mississippi Fred McDowell ("You Got to Move"), and Blind Lemon Jefferson ("One Kind Favor"). Sommers can write this stuff as well as play it; check out the gorgeous slide work on "First Things First," the slow and sweet "Sunset on Big River," the uptempo (and far too brief) "Duolian in 'D'," and others. There's an intimacy to this music that contemporary blues can't match, nor should it try. It's a peaceful, pleasant surprise, like a river at sunset, and should be enjoyed in equal measure. --Genevieve Williams
Wherever You Find The Blues is Home....
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Many people look at the blues as a somber, low-key form of music that dwells in misery and sadness. ...Many people look at the blues as a somber, low-key form of music that dwells in misery and sadness. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Sorrow is one of the most powerful human emotions, and the purpose of all art is to give expression to our innermost feelings. For years, singing about the dark side of life has given people the opportunity to transcend their problems.
This is not the only kind of blues, however. Sometimes the blues can make you happy. There is a whole tradition of uptempo, high-energy blues that is more a celebration of life than a lament for one’s troubles. Dusty Sommers new CD Blues, Take Me Home is firmly in the high-energy, feel-good blues tradition exemplified by John Lee Hooker, among others. “I feel good/like I thought I would,” sang John Lee in his classic “Boogie Chillun.” Listen to Dusty, and you’ll feel good too.
This is blues stripped down to the bare essentials. Dusty and David “Red” Reo play acoustic guitar while Tom “Mad Dog” Fields wails on the harmonica and Bruce Vallone keeps the rhythm going on upright bass. No drums, no amps, just the blues. Sommers sings with the uninhibited spirit of Grateful Dead patriarch Ron “Pigpen” McKernan. Like Pigpen, he doesn’t have the most polished voice, but the joy and passion he brings to his performance renders such judgments irrelevant. “To me, the blues come from the heart…it’s not how fast you can play or how good you can sing,” says Dusty in the album’s liner notes.
The blues is a very personal art form, and throughout the years different bluesmen have put their own stamp on traditional tunes, creating endless variations on the same themes. So it’s no surprise that the song I know as “Mean Old Frisco” shows up here as “Special Rider,” while “Sun Gonna Shine” bears strong resemblance to “I Know You Rider.” It’s hard to sing a song that has been sung thousands of times and make it sound like your own, but Dusty inhabits these songs so completely you would think he wrote them.
The title track is the one original on the album, and it fits in seamlessly with the traditional tunes. The joy that Sommers brings to tunes like “Mean Old World” and “Going Down Slow” is given freer rein here, and you can tell that this is a man who is flat-out, head-over-heels in love with the blues. If Dusty’s voice is reminiscent of Pigpen, the spirited picking of Sommers and Reo has the same energy and rhythm of Jorma Kaukonen’s acoustic work. The Reo instrumental “Back Way To Nowhere” showcases the acoustic interplay between the two, revealing the musical bond that the two share.
Interestingly enough, some of the disc’s finest moments are the “bonus tracks” at the end. “Me and My Black Dogs” is a venture into electric slide playing, and Dusty sounds just as good plugged as he does unplugged. An alternate version of “Mean Old World” with Red and Dusty on National steel provides interesting contrast, and the blues classic “Two Trains Running” is well done.
However, the real gem of this album is a deeply bluesy rendition of the Police’s “Shadows In The Rain.” The original is an almost hyperactive, high-energy jazz number, but here it is slowed down to a crawl and given a very sympathetic reading. “Woke up in my clothes again this morning/Don’t know exactly where I am/I should heed my doctor’s warning/He does the best with me he can” are great blues lyrics, even if Sting didn’t write them with that in mind. This version shows that the blues are where you find them,
and wherever you find the blues is home.
Excellent Acoustic Slide Blues!!!
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Very few Artists can claim the Blues standards like his own,, and thats what Dusty does!!! Songs...
Very few Artists can claim the Blues standards like his own,, and thats what Dusty does!!!
Songs Like 'Going down Slow....& 'Mean old World' are given a new workover! and others are all just as good...
The music takes on a jamband feel! and rocks !!!
I found him on 'Hittin' the web' with Bands like the Allman Brothers, ARU, and Dickey Betts, so this guy is no slouch!!!I recommend it highly!!!
Front Row USA Tickets
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from 'Backstage Commerce"
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j Dustin Sommers is an excellent artist. I really can't emphasize this fact enough. I highly rec...j Dustin Sommers is an excellent artist.
I really can't emphasize this fact enough.
I highly recommend checking out his audio samples as well as the rest of his scene.
Keep up the hard work, j Dustin!
Much love and respect from the PStarR family circle!!! A 10.
the set lists varied,,, from gig to gig depending on those involved, but you can count on a gritty style on the Slide,, featuring Originals and old Folk Blues in a Swamp Yankee backporch style ... in the folk Blues style to weaving acoustic instrumentals...you can call it what you want,, but most people just call it 'real good' lol!!!!
first set is a quick 45 minutes to a hour.... and same for the second.....in a jam based acoustic style streaching out when it feels right with dueling Reso guitars with G Charles Mark."Street" Baker or Sonny Boy on both harp and guitar!!! and we have been known to play easliy for 4 hours.... so ya get your money's worth LOL
this years its been mostly a solo acoustic gigs. useing all vintage Gibsons, National's( guitar,Duolain,a mandolin and a uke) and a old Dobro Houndog....Ive been playing songs off my 3 CD's and my up coming one due this Spring ( check dates for CD Release party)
I'm worth the price, and the ride's Ive set up, are for another time.....but with the cost of gas and traveling in a small RV...I can save on motels, airfairs ect... and prefer out door gigs, this time of the year... excellent 'Filler or opener' between a electric band or two . filled with charm,wit, good looks and great Acoustic slide guitar and harp with road weary vocals!!! hahaha
There are no upcoming dates at this time.