Whitey Somers is also a veteran bluesman and if his last name seems familiar, it might be because he is the nephew of the late classical composer Harry Somers. A 40-year man, he’s been in Nanaimo since 2013, having moved there from Collingwood and Hamilton. His web site shows he has quite a lengthy discography of songs on various compilations in addition to his two previous solo discs. This Somers plays guitar very well and often now performs as an acoustic solo act but here he’s in front of a full electric band with piano, organ, bass & drums. He has written some excellent songs: “Down That Road” the one that concludes the album, was on the short list of the 2018 Canadian Songwriting Competition, a recognition it deserved – a fine slab of bluesabilly. “Can’t Make the Payment Blues” is one of the better songs about struggling musicians. It’s actually a rocking ‘make the best of it’ kind of song with some sterling piano from Nico Rhodes. An even better song is “Six Months Pregnant (2000 Miles Away)”, a touching and well-sung slow blues. A fight with his partner results in “Frozen Toenail Blues”, a rollicking, stop-time blues with a very good guitar solo. “(The work we’ve begun is) 82% Done” is another well-written slow blues with some fine organ work from Larry Blatchford. Somers picks up his slide for the impossibly fast “My Baby Likes to Boogie” with more fine piano work from Rhodes. He can do some very good R&B too: “Undecided” builds to a rousing climax with backup singers and a searing guitar solo. He has a very good rhythm section in Nick Dokter on drums and either Todd Sacerty or Brian Whitty on bass. Somers is a very good singer and he has some very good songs to show off, the album has been charting well since its release and should raise his profile considerably. Some songs are on YouTube, the album is at CDBaby and on streaming services but his Facebook page shows only local gigs for now though.

Loose Blues News – August 2019
August 2019 - James Anthony