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As Live As It Gets

Polly O’Keary & The Rhythm Method

Polly O’Keary Music 2019

Review by David Bowling

 

The fist commandment of a blues musician should be, “Thou Shalt Issue A Live Album.” Studio releases are fine but they do not present a complete picture of a musicians style and talent. A live release, without any studio tinkering after-the-fact, is a personal statement.

Bassist/singer/songwriter Polly O’Keary and her band Rhythm Method; guitarist David Miller and drummer Tommy Cook, have now released their fifth album and first live release As Live As It Gets.

A concert setting finds the group relaxed as they re-interpret many of their previous released songs. The ability to adjust and improvise their material gives the material new textures and nuances. Original songs such as “Red Light,” “Hard Act To Follow,” “Gather Round Me Angels,” and “Sugar Daddy” take on new life.

Two cover tracks also shine. Eric Clapton’s “Old Love” allows guitarist David Miller to step forward and take the lead. Eric Bibb’s “In My Father’s House” is re-imagined by O’Keary.

The band is more raw and basic than in the studio, which is typical of many blues bands.

As Live As It Gets is an intimate introduction to a hard working band.

Rating: ***1/2