Naomi Sommers
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Naomi Sommers


Band Folk Bluegrass


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"Naomi is the new Nanci"

Sharing a producer, a few musicians and a sensibility with Nanci Griffiths, Naomi Sommers is bound for a good future. This is a clever, poetic, political and caring record that is mainstream Americana and very pleasant for all that. The cover of 'Sea of Heartbreak' is well chosen, and shows Naomi in a fine and gentle bluegrass place she also reaches elsewhere, ( it'll be alright). Other songs are straighter singer-songwriter, but there's not one that isn't saying something worth listening to (although 'Now's He's Gone' an ode to a dead pet will be to everyone's taste. But even that, when given treatment by a sweet, deep voice, isn't so bad). Naomi is worth hearing and a name to watch. - Americana-UK

"Gentle As The Sun Review"

Twixt the turkey and the bells there's a need for a breathing space and in this current cold snap there's nothing better than to lounge in front of a warm hearth and listen to some down-home countrified songs. Belying the heliocentric nods to warmer times cast by her surname and the title of her album, Ms. Sommers has delivered an album that caresses the earbuds, perfect for that mulled wine contemplative time as the embers warm this bunny burrow.

Recorded in Nashville by Jim Rooney (producer of songstresses Nanci Griffith and Iris Dement), Sommers comes across much in the same vein as these predecessors. Swinging lazily and with some nifty picking - Al Perkins on dobro for example - there are pieces here that stand comparison with their writings. "Come Home" is a surprisingly jaunty plea to a soldier stationed in Iraq. The lazy waltz of "Gray Sky Girls" with its sneaky dobro and keen fiddle compares the girls from back home in Virginia to the coolness of Boston city women. A lovely song.

Overall this a hickory infused, toe tappin' well sung collection of mature, comfortable, lived in songs that deserve to lift Ms Sommers into Bob Harris radio territory. And it did bring a spot of warmth into a cold December bunny burrow.

by Paul Kerr -

"Gentle As The Sun review"

Naomi Sommers roots in folk, bluegrass and traditional country music run deep. Growing up in a New England home stuffed full of musical instruments of various shape and size and performing, from a young age, alongside her parents and brother in the Sommers Rosenthal Family Band. Since 2002 she's been releasing solo albums too, but it's still very much a family affair as she's signed to dad's (bluegrass musician/producer Phil Rosenthal) label American Melody. This time though she's travelled down to Nashville to work with Grammy winning producer Jim Rooney (Bonnie Raitt) and engineer David Fergusson (Rick Rubin & Johnny Cash) and it seems a good marriage. Her soulful vocals fitting well with the music, country style sound that thankfully owes more to Cash and Nelson than to Garth Brooks. The mix of traditional sounds with her contemporary voice adds an element that stands her apart from so many of her contemporaries and makes her an artist to watch. Not sure what I mean? Seek out 'Hard To Love You' and you'll understand!

by Matt Merritt -

"Gentle As The Sun review"

Gentle (as the sun) by name, gentle by definition, on her album. This record sounds effortless as it slips from song to song. However, that is due to the consummate skills of the singers and musicians. It's a family affair. Naomi's father, bluegrass musician Phil Rosenthal plays (it's his record label), as does her brother, Danny. It also boasts contributions from a stellar line up of Nashville's finest, including Jim Rooney and the legend that is Al Perkins. This is an amalgam of bluegrass, folk and country all rolled up into a lovely album. All her own songs except one, a bluegrass version of "Sea Of Heartbreak". Her own are songs of love and loss, and are beautifully sung and played, in particular "It'll Be Alright" which finishes the album in a positive vein.

by Scott O., from Leicester Bangs -

"by Virginia MacIsaac"

I’m not sure where to begin with Naomi Sommers, she plays and sings thoughts and sounds I’ve never heard before…a dreamer’s find…a lamp lighting the way to the most heartfelt songs I’ve heard in a long time… Deep, rich, melodic; the tunes carry you to a wonderful place and her warm voice touches parts of you long forgotten or long ignored. Not only are the songs thoughtful and original, they are a heady release from the mish-mash of pop sentimentality… The sound is pure Naomi Sommers. With a voice like hers, that’s enough. I don’t think it matters what kind of music you like, (her music is) a personal experience I don’t think you should miss. - Rambles, a cultural magazine

"by David Broida"

Naomi Sommers’ sound is gorgeous…but equally important it’s creative and innovative. Each song has something more to offer. ‘Watershed Song’, wonderfully composed and sung with a lovely vocal. This original song might be compared to the music of Leonard Cohen.
- Concerts Under the Stars

"by Joshua Mamis"

Naomi has soaked up a lifetimes worth of musical wisdom. She sings with an uncanny naturalness and confidence far beyond her years… Rooted in American folk but playing around the edges of blues and jazz, surprisingly sophisticated songs, Sommers understands subtlety of lyrics and melody, and brightens them both with imaginative hooks. - New Haven Advocate

"Bluegrass Now"

In harmony with nature…youthful exuberance and boundless enthusiasm… the music is inviting, very personable, filled with charisma…Naomi Sommers delivers a stunning set, highlighting her remarkable voice and strong guitar work.
- Bluegrass Now Magazine

"Sing Out!"

This young singer-songwriter nicely blends blues, bluegrass, jazz, roots, country and more. Strong songwriting as beautiful as you are likely to hear anywhere…lyrics that read like good poetry.
- Sing Out! Magazine

"by Lisa McKay"

Surprisingly mature offerings from a young singer-songwriter…a broad range of musical influences can be felt throughout…Sommers’ delivery is clear-voiced and unaffected, and the simplicity of her approach serves to enhance the understated emotional punch of her songs…So if you find yourself in the mood for songs in an acoustic vein that manage to be simultaneously simple and sophisticated, combining richly drawn lyrics with melodic hooks that will soon have you singing along (this) is a nice place to start. It’s the kind of music that takes you pleasantly by surprise…I dare you to listen without a little catch in your throat. -


Flying Through (2002)
Hypnotized (2004)
Gray Sky Girls (2006)
Gentle As The Sun (2008)



With roots in bluegrass, the blues, jazz, traditional folk, and old-time country, singer/songwriter Naomi Sommers is emerging as an exciting voice on the music scene. She grew up in a New England home full of music and instruments, performing since middle school with her parents and brother in the Sommers Rosenthal Family Band. Naomi’s recording career started at age 5 when she sang her first harmony parts on an album of bluegrass music for children. Over the years she has sung and played flute, banjo, piano, and guitar on more than 15 records released on her father Phil’s independent American Melody label, and has lent vocal and flute tracks to numerous recordings by other artists. In addition to the folk and bluegrass music she picked up at home, Naomi performed in orchestras and wind ensembles as a classically trained flutist, sang jazz with her brother Daniel Rosenthal’s quartets since high school, and joined the gospel choir during college.

After studying literature and music at the University of Connecticut, Naomi devoted herself full-time to writing and performing. She moved to Boston in 2001 to begin a solo career. She played at favorite local venues including Club Passim, where she endeared herself to music fans and fellow musicians alike, and began lasting collaborations. She toured throughout the U.S. with songwriter Noam Weinstein as the duo Broken Dreams, and later followed some of the same routes as a Gray Sky Girl with Lisa Bastoni. In 2004, Naomi traveled to Texas to participate as a finalist in Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk Songwriting Competition. More recently, Naomi was invited to be part of an upcoming PBS documentary, “On The Record,” hosted by Sir George Martin and narrated by Kevin Spacey. She traveled to the home of Jean Ritchie to play a few songs with the influential folk singer and songwriter on film for the series. In July 2008, Naomi performed one of her songs at the GRAMMY Foundation’s Starry Night Fundraiser in honor of Sir George Martin (producer of the Beatles and many others). At the event in Los Angeles, she shared the stage with Jeff Beck, Burt Bacharach, Chris Body, Tom Jones, Jimmie Webb and others.

Since 2002, Naomi has put out three albums on American Melody. Two of these were solo albums, featuring original songs with eclectic backup by her family and other outstanding musicians. In 2006, she released a mesmerizing album of traditional and original “old-time country slowgrass” with the Gray Sky Girls. Now in 2008, Naomi has just released an album recorded in Nashville, produced by the acclaimed musician/producer Jim Rooney (John Prine, Iris Dement, Nanci Griffith, Bonnie Raitt). Jim’s enthusiasm over Naomi’s songs and her voice prompted him to end a hiatus from the music business to make this record. The album was engineered by David Fergusson (Johnny Cash/Rick Rubin) and features a backup band of some of Nashville’s finest musicians. Naomi’s trusted family and friends traveled from New England to play on the record as well. She is thrilled to present the resulting collection of songs, the culmination of years of devotion to the craft of songwriting and to the merging of traditional and contemporary styles in American music.