|Chris Polk appearing with Daryl Davis at the 2013 Tinner Hill Blues Festival|
|Chris Polk at Nick's Corner Bar in May, 2010|
One of the area's better singer-guitarists, Chris Polk, finally has a recording available, Live at Zigs, recorded at the Alexandria club and available from Polk at his performances. Polk has several urban blues influences with perhaps none so obvious as Buddy Guy. Guy's influence is, in part, suggested by Polk's use of a polka dot guitar.
Guy's influence is also evident in the songs included here which does not indicate the breadth of Polk's repertoire. However renditions of Got My Eyes On You, I Got a Problem, I Feel So Bad, Midnight Train, Nobody Understands Me But My Guitar and the cover of Stormy Monday suggest how much and influence Guy is. Listening to Polk's vocals on this disc, as well as guitar playing, I am struck by this influence more than I have been watching Chris live.
Chris' playing is characterized by serpentine playing that evokes Guy as does his expressive vocals. Polk does avoid some of the excesses that can mar some of Guy's performances. Polk sings and plays with a controlled intensity that serves the material well. The band includes some of his regular musical compatriots including guitarist John Sterling, bassist Willie Hicks and drummer Morgan Norris with special guest, Steve Johnsen, contributing the keyboards.
|Chris Polk at the 1997 DC B lies Festival. Photo © Ron Weinstock|