A deft guitar and keyboard player with a deep but honeyed voice, Peter Solmes is more than capable of delivering very pleasing renditions of smooth, soft Pop covers. And as a songwriter he brings some of that mainstream smarts to his craft, writing tunes that feel familiar and as welcome as a favourite sweater; or as he puts it: “relaxing but not boring.” I’m also a big fan of some of his Country and Christmas song originals, which he released on albums some time ago.
He had also, unbeknownst to me, in 2002 released an album of Caplyso-Reggae influenced songs, Coming Back To Bermuda, which was based on his experience spending summers there as a child before the Castro years.
Now he’s released a new album that digs deeper into the musical influences from that culture and fuses them with both the North American rhythms of the chart-topper covers he does so well and east coast/maritime threads that also speak to Bermuda’s older past as a shipping hub.
This afternoon, as part of the monthly Sat. 1-5 series he and poet Linda Stitt host at Portobello Bistro, he’ll be performing on keys, accompanied by a guitar and percussion, the tunes from the new disc, Bermuda Memories: Musings of a Salt Water Cowboy.
This month’s event, in fact, will be notable as well because Stitt is also celebrating a release: in her case of a new book of her poems, Acting My Age. I assume, based on the title, that the new material is heavily laced with irony and sarcasm —both ingredients she has regularly utilized for years in fashioning her rhymes (yup, a poet that still rhymes!) with supple, delightful and piercing wit.
No cover for this double bill taking place in the toney room at 995 Bay St. just north of Wellesley St.