Markus Sommer – True Sounds of the West
Markus Sommer is a farrier and country and western singer/songwriter. His debut album True Sounds of the West will be released February 13th. Sommer’s songs bleed with the ethic and craftmanship that he identifies with in western values. Evidently, he lives by these values. I was able to speak with him about his new album after he finished a bit of choring; completed despite recovering from slicing off a bit of his finger earlier this year.
An Albertan implant, Markus has spent the last 6 years establishing himself as a farrier, immersing himself in Western culture, and making friends and connections with some of the most talented players in Alberta country music.
Markus has been writing songs since he was thirteen years old, but the earliest songs on True Sounds of the West were written within the last three years. The oldest song, “Grandfathers,” has a timeless quality as Sommer reflects on the convictions of his role models from another era. He was going to record his debut a few years ago but didn’t feel like it was time. He had a catalogue of songs that were finished but he was unsatisfied with the collection. “They were mostly sad love songs, I was writing more Americana at that time – I didn’t want a whole album of that. I wanted to make sure it didn’t sound like one long song. There’s a lot of different styles of tracks on the album and I think we managed to fit them all together.”
Last November, the timing was right and connections were ready for harvest. True Sounds of the West features a stacked line-up of players and song-writers from the Canadian Western music scene. The result is an excellently arranged Western album that highlights Sommer’s narrative story-telling, skillfully written ballads of heartbreak and hard breaks, to straight-talking about shoeing horses.
Narrative tracks like “The Renegade” and “Ten Years” feel cinematic in their execution. “I’m more interested in the song-writing than anything else. The lyrics are the most important thing. I’d rather write a song that has no chorus but tells a good story. The details are important to understand and relate to a character- but you only have 2 or 3 minutes to tell that story. I wrote them to be able to stand alone, but I’m lucky to have the whole band building the atmosphere on these songs. “
SCENE NEXT – On February 1st, Sommer will be performing at the Vat supporting Peter and The Wolves and Boots and the Hoots. His debut album True Sounds of the West will be available February 13th, pre-order at markussommersongs.com. This March, he will be going on tour with the full band to support the new album. The tour hits Red Deer on March 21st at Bo’s Bar and Grill.