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June 18, 2021
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Private Messages


Dusty Sommers

Lessons in the Swamp

When I was real young , I'd go with my Pop on Sundays mornings down to his nightclub, 'the Riverside' to sweep the 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, Charley Patton, Bukka White and Son House among others.... and developed , I guess, a style of my own.....

The year 1999, was damn good to me! Not only did I first get signed online with and then signed by the Record label 'the Orchard' in NYC and distributed by 'Valley Media ' ( the biggest in the country) which has made "Big River Blues" available on every online music and book store from CDNow to to in Spain ( hey I kid ya not...hehehe check it out!!!! ) and if its not in a store near you, ask them to order it for ya!!!

Amazon's Been Good to Me

I received a Writers Award from ASCAP ( American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishes ) a grant and recognition for "Big River Blues".Then in August of 99, Gunivere Williams ,the Blues Editor from, gave me a fantastic review in her column and added "Big River Blues" as her Editors pick... and thing really took of from there I was next added to the "Emerging Artist's" category with the "greats", Big Bill Morganfield, Deborah Coleman, Coco Montoya, Paul Riesel and Annie Raines, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Susan Tedischi and Johnny Lang among others....In August, I cracked the top 20 in sales for Indie/Blues on Amazon,(and hit #468 in sales for all of Amazon, remember they have over 15 million CDs, my mind was spinnin' heheheh) for a while there, I was selling out daily...

In Sept. I received a call from Amazon, asking if I wanted placement in their Holiday catalog, It was the first time they had ever offered it to a Indi artist, the Catalog came out right after Thanksgiving 99 to over 2.4 million people ( in every order from Amazon) and I was included with Paul McCartney, Nine Inch Nail, Wilson Pickett and Van Morrison among about a dozen other Major Recording artists...Amazing!!!

2002, 2/2/02...Howdy folks, I hope everyone is safe and well. If any one is looking to buy a copy of 'Big River Blues' please buy it on the link below to CD Baby... the whole amount is donated to the America Red Cross and the WTC Fund. I wish I could do more to help all our brothers and sisters in the 9/11 tragedy. Take care, and remember how short life is,and ya never know........... peace... Dusty

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Copyright 2000-2003 J. Dustin Sommers.
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