Saturday signals the final day of 2012's Ohio Brew Week, and before you load up on more yummy brew-crafted libations, make sure to swing by Jackie O's Brew Pub to see sensational singer-songwriter-guitarist Eric Sommer.
Sommer's acoustic grooves go down well with any microbrew. Swing and dance to his fingerpickin' or shake it to his slide guitar this weekend. His tunes are tasty and appeal to almost any musical pallet, as he plays everything from pop to blues, from indie rock to bar rock.
"I do about a four-and-half-hour set straight through. I'll keep rockin' until they turn the lights on," he said during a phone interview while preparing for a gig in Michigan on Tuesday.
Playing almost 270 performances this year, Sommer said that like the Stones, he just can't get no satisfaction.
"Guitar playing is something that you don't get any better at by thinking about it," he said. "It's a craft, and you have to hone your skills and get better and better. It's a way of life, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
Sommer has been playing music and traveling since his high school day,s and his style and sounds have continued to evolve. Getting his start in Boston during high school, he left to travel Europe playing with various artists and bands until landing himself back in Boston, broke and homeless. He persevered; however, and now he's hardly ever seen in one place for very long.
But during his travels, one of his favorite stops is Athens.
"I was in Athens last year for Brew Week, and I have to say it was one of the best times possible, in one of the best places possible," he said. "It's such a receptive audience. And the bartenders at Jackie O's are great!"
This time around, he'll be showing off some new tunes that he recorded on a 7-inch vinyl CD, which will be on sale during the show.
"It's more pop, more electric, and has a little bit of an edge to it," he said. "The acoustics are still strong but there's a fair balance of that and a mix of a little Motown."
He writes what he sees and feels, and having published two books and working on getting together a new band, the work never stops for Sommer.
His performance this weekend will consist of new and old tunes, some political, others not so much.
"I'm for celebrating individuality, celebrating taking action," he said.
Some songs such as his latest creation, "Europe, Europe" (a ballad about Europe's current political and economical issues), are more metaphorical and insightful. Others aren't as heavy, like his purely acoustic jam, "Martha Groove," that's a foot-stomping melody.
Sommer said he'll buy a beer for anyone wearing an Eric Sommer shirt. He's not sure which brew he'll choose, though.
"I can't discriminate because that would be unfair to all the other beers," he said.
So break out your boogie-woogie shoes, grab a porter and get ready to end Brew Week on a high note. (Or, you can always grab a lager and go see the Porters, who are playing next door in the Public House.)