Review: Polly O’Keary & The Rhythm Method – Compass

Posted on: Tuesday, Apr 1, 2014

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Polly O’Keary & The Rhythm Method – Compass

Bass player and singer Polly has been singing the blues in the North West (well, that’s the Pacific North West) for over a quarter of a century, and was voted the Washington Blues Society Female Vocalist of the year a decade ago. I’m only surprised she has not won it more often! This is a very fine example of the modern West Coast blues, with Polly’s voice strong and soulful, particularly on the slower ballad-blues items – try the sparse ’Losing You Again’ ‘Your Honor’ or ‘Let Me Be Kind’, where she strongly evokes Etta James.

She has worked with Too Slim & The Taildraggers, so has a fine approach to blues-rock, as on the driving opener ‘Fools Gold’ and ‘Stop, Train’, she gets all poppy with ‘Summer’, ‘Nothing Left To Say’ combines a mariachi approach with a surf feel, Polly gets a little funky with ‘How The Mighty Fall’ and ‘You Get Me High’ and she tackles the blues pure and simple with the rolling ‘Harder Than It Has To Be’.

Credit too is due to the regular band – Chris “Seattle Slim” Nonnemaker on guitar (listen to his soaring solo on ‘Let Me Be Kind’ or his tough edge on ‘You Get Me High’) and backing vocals and Tommy Cook on drums and backing vocals, though horns, keyboards, and other background vocalists also pitch in where appropriate – always very appropriately. A fine album, hopefully it will, bring Polly wider attention – on this evidence she deserves it

NORMAN DARWEN

www.pollyokeary.com

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