Why? To join Bernie and Erik on their vintage vinyl radio roundup show! Actually, it’s a deep dive into all things vinyl! WCOM Carrboro is a perfect setting for this artist – a combination of Storyteller, Poet, Songwriter, and vinyl troublemaker!
Eric worked in records as he was starting out – first in Boston at Strawberries in Copley Square, in Atlanta at Record Shack of Atlanta and then on Columbus Circle in NYC where he was East Coast Radio Promotions Director for Roulette and Pyramid Records. He was fortunate to be able to be mentored by wonderful vinyl heads early on, including Jeep Holland and the most knowledgable vinyl and poster collector on the planet… Mitch Diamond formerly of Rounder Records – they were roommates in Brookline, Massachusetts. Read all about this at Grande Debris, a blog about all things worthy and twisted by Eric Sommer.
Eric has played in, on, and around the American musical landscape for quite some time. Tours across the country and residencies in Duluth, Madison, Chicago, Dallas, Marfa, and Birmingham have contributed to his emotional catalog, as well as his vast library of songs, stories, and road writing. But Eric Sommer at WCOM is going to be informative. Explosive and just flat-out fun!
Because Eric always brings something new, either new songs or new stories from the vast American musical landscape. New ways of looking at familiar objects. He’s always re-thinking and re-threading that complex emotional needle. No two shows or sets are ever the same. As a result, the music matters, and great songwriting makes a difference.
Eric Sommer is a singer, writer, and guitar player. His style is crazy difficult to define. It’s a cross between Billie Joe Shaver, Taj Mahal, Willie Porter, and Steve Howe. And delivered like a velvet hammer – Crown Royal poured over #2 sandpaper. With a unique set-up that generally includes 4-5 guitars, 3-4 small amps, and a stompbox, it’s a visual experience: wonderful to watch! And an audio, aural experience: mesmerizing to watch, and to hear!
It is a mash-up of guitar, slide & open tuning stuff wrapped around songs for people who care about things that matter: insane ex-girlfriends, wrinkled shirts, failed love, broken hearts, bad coffee, flat tires, gas station hot dogs, dumb pets… and checkout lines.
“If there’s a place for musical perfection, it’s wherever you’ll find Eric Sommer. A blistering acoustic style plus a variety of slide and open tuning formats will knock you for a loop…” wrote Studdie Burns, New Melody Maker/UK in 2013. “How one guy can do this so well is remarkable. But if you look a little deeper there’s a batch of road miles around this lad… and it all makes sense.” And in the middle of all this, Eric never lost sight of his roots. Of his country roots. This date is part of that celebration!
Eric started his musical career in the Boston area under the eye of legendary promoter Don Law. Being young and talented, Eric was onstage at The Paradise Theatre in Boston for a record 40 appearances. He has been a regular player on many national and international tours and showcases. Those shows opened many doors. Eric eventually worked in Europe for two years with Nick Lowe and acts Bram Tchaikovsky and Wreckless Eric. During this period Eric worked on Danish, German, and British rock stages then returned to Boston and formed The Atomics.
Eric is a founding member of Boston’s legendary pop/new wave cult trio “The Atomics”. They toured non-stop with Mission of Burma, Gang of Four, and The Dead Kennedys and were on the leading edge of a number of musical transformations. Eric never lost sight of his acoustic roots, returning to his heroes and mentors often: David Bromberg, Steve Howe(YES), Duane Allman(Allman Bros.), Bert Jansch, Davy Graham, and Robert Johnson. Mr. Sommer’s current project with power trio “The Solar Flares” shakes up Chet Atkins and David Bromberg’s influences with those of Randy Travis and British Rocker Elvis Costello – a remarkable mix.
He has been on the road, in the studio, on stage, in front of or behind everyone from Jerry Douglas, Leon Redbone, John Mayall, Dr. John to David Bromberg, John Hammond, Jr., Little Feat, Andy McKee, too many to name… but he’s going be here at 7pm on Monday, July 21st. Eric Sommer at Trali Raleigh is bringing it in for August!
With open tuning, slide guitar, lap-slap tone guitar, this show is exciting. And a remarkably aggressive fingering style approach makes watching Eric Sommer so fun and crazy! It’ll make you jump out of your seat and holler for joy! There are very few players who have maintained this authentic American style of guitar and Eric Sommer is one of the very best
“How do you call this sidekick to unique personalities ranging from Nick Lowe to John Koerner an underachiever? This multi-instrumentalist bad boy could easily be a superstar in his own right…” Midwest Record, Lake Zurich, IL
“Eric Sommer is an astounding guitar player, a virtuoso on acoustic and electric… Eric has worked with everybody who is anybody; His resume’ reads like a musical encyclopedia…” Nashville Music Reviews, Don & Sherry’s Blog
“It’s a wonderful evening whenever Eric Sommer is part of it… Not to be missed!” Austin Record, Steve Barron
Guitarin’ and Singin’ are what Eric Sommer is all about.
Singer/songwriter Eric Sommer is an unbelievable intersection of improbable influences. That and insane experiences channeled into an amazingly diverse catalog. His is a résumé that reads more like a musical adventure novel than a series of career bullet points.