Polly O’Keary rocks blues as live as it gets

Polly O'Keary & The Rhythm Method

I’ve been a long time fan of Polly O’Keary & The Rhythm Method.

Sister O’Keary certainly can relate to the blues. She doesn’t just play them, but lived them early in life.

She learned to read music by a kerosene lamp, in a log cabin in a remote part of Washington State. By 16, she was playing in ex-pat bars in Mexico. By 17, she was jamming at Eastern Washington watering holes for rural farm workers. By 18, she had dropped out of school, and hooked up with a man, who was headed to prison. At 21, she had logged more stage hours than most musicians twice her age. She also consumed as much alcohol as the old school bluesmen, back in the day.

All of that shines through in her recent release As Live As It Gets, which includes cuts of original songs updated from older versions, a few covers like Clapton’s “Old Love” and Eric Bibb’s “In My Father’s House.”

On the road, and in life, Tommy Cook provides a steady, rock solid atmosphere on the drums and Dave Miller is a dynamite lead blues guitarist. Polly plays the bass. Also included is my favorite tune by the gang, “Black Crow Calllin’”

This is the blues at that their best.

“It’s true you don’t have to have come from poverty to play blues, but blues came from poverty and established its themes of life lived recklessly,” Polly said.

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