Whitey Somers – The Call of the Blues
Self-Produced – 2021
10 Tracks, 44 Minutes
Canadian Whitey Somers presents a variety of musical styles in his latest release of all original songs, The Call of the Blues. The album opens with a beautiful slow blues song, with pure and elegant guitar notes and some impressive work by Nico Rhodes on keys. What really stands out about this album is the excellent musicianship. In addition to Somers on guitar and Rhodes on keys and saxophone, Nick Dokter is featured on drums, Todd Sacerty on bass, and special guests include David Essig, Jay D. Styles, and Lazy Mike Mallon. Not surprisingly, all the solos are outstanding.
The best tracks on the album are the slow blues numbers, of which there are three, one at the beginning, one in the middle and one at the end. The middle song, “A Free Man,” also contains the best lyrics of the album, and appears to reference the struggle of someone in recovery. For example, it notes, “Walked hand in hand with the Devil. Had an angel by my side You’ve got to see a lot of darkness before you ever see the light. But I’m a free man. I’ve got no chains upon my soul.”
Somers also features two songs with a strong country sound to them, including one that sounds Johnny Cash-influenced, entitled “Gone”.
However, not all blues fans will appreciate how far Somers drifts from the blues for a few tracks. For example, the hard rocking “Can’t Control It” strays so far to the end of blues-rock spectrum that the blues influence is unrecognizable. And while the vocals on that track clearly emote the out-of-control feeling referenced in the song, they also reach the level of an uncomfortable screech by the end.
In summary, The Call of the Blues nicely highlights the excellent musical ability of all the fine artists featured, including Somers, but was a bit too eclectic for this reviewer.