Polly O’Keary review…March 16, 2014…

POLLY O’KEARY

AND THE RHYTHM METHOD

COMPASS

SELF-RELEASED

FOOLS GOLD–SUMMER–NOTHING LEFT TO SAY–YOUR HONOR–HARDER THAN IT HAS TO BE–STOP, TRAIN–I’VE GOT NONE–HOW THE MIGHTY FALL–LOSING YOU AGAIN–YOU GET ME HIGH–LET ME BE KIND

Polly O’Keary has been singing, writing, and playing bass for over twenty-five years.  She made a name for herself in the Pacific Northwest, winning the Washington Blues Society’s Female Vocalist of the Year three times, and gained world-wide recognition over the four years she spent touring with Too Slim and the Taildraggers.  Her latest release is entitled “Compass,” and consists of eleven originals that allow her stellar vocals and mature writing skills to now reach a much wider audience.

Her backing band is cleverly referred to as The Rhythm Method, and are Clint Nonnemaker on guitar and Tommy Cook on drums.  This trio is also augmented by a horn section and keyboards from a few folks we’ll allude to later.

Polly starts the proceedings by calling out a homewreckin’ female friend, asking her “was it worth the love you stole for Fool’s Gold.”  This one features tough guitar and B-3 interplay between Clint and Arthur Migliazza.  Polly lays down a serious ballad, “Your Honor,’ as she defends her lover in front of a judge and begs him “don’t take my man from me.”  With a backing chorus, this one is done up in true Fifties’ tear-jerker fashion, as Polly plays the forlorn lover to the hilt.  Another sparsely-arranged Fifties’-styled cut is the tale of a woman who just can’t seem to keep a lover, and is jealous of those who can, and is entitled, “I’ve Got None.”  And, the sort of corollary to that tune is “Losing You Again,” as the lonely dawn once again reminds our heroine of the lover who’s not coming back.  This one is characterized by Polly’s vocal over brush-stroked drums and Cilnt’s single-note leads.  The set closes with perhaps its most powerful piece, the searing ballad, “Let Me Be Kind.”

We had a favorite, too, perhaps the quirkiest cut on the set.  Polly’s had it with a lover, so much so that there’s “Nothing Left To Say,” but it’s the way she says it that gets your attention.  Her scathing vocal is set over surf-meets-flamenco guitars, with a “Pulp Fiction”-ish mariachi horn section in the background that really makes this one sizzle!

Polly O’Keary and the Rhythm Method have crafted a very eclectic set of varying styles with “Compass.”  It is a set that we highly recommend!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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