Polly’s eclectic blues style reflects her colorful history. She grew up in a log cabin with no electricity or plumbing, and began her music career a teen working bars in Mexico. At 19 she had a husband in prison and an 8th grade education. Twenty years later, she was a bassist for touring blues bands, playing a total of four continents, was one of the Pacific Northwest’s most highly awarded blues artists, and was working toward a Ph.D. Polly is today a five -time Washington Blues Society Best Female Vocalist, a three-time Best Songwriter, has won Best Album from Washington and Inland Empire blues societies, and many more awards.
Groups Polly has toured with include Too Slim and the Taildraggers, The Soul of John Black, and the Randy Oxford Band.
Polly O’Keary and the Rhythm Method is the trio she built with her fiancée and drummer Tommy Cook, also a highly sought touring drummer, with whom she shared rhythm section duties for international touring act Too Slim and the Taildraggers for four years. Rounding out the trio is David Miller, who grew up listening to blues in Texas.
At 17, then living in California, Miller met a piano player who was then working for Tommy Castro. The older musician recruited Miller to come play at several bars, and assured the young man that he could get him in, underage though he was. Miller became a regular in clubs in the Bay Area, sitting in with local and touring acts night after night. At 25, then living in San Luis Obispo, he assembled The Dave Miller Band, and for the next 18 years, he and the group went on to become one of Southern California’s most popular blues bar bands, leading one reviewer to describe his “jaw-dropping guitar licks” and praise his “extraordinary mixture of inspiring virtuosity both vocally and instrumentally.”
Polly O’Keary and the Rhythm Method’s 2014 debut album “Compass,” reflecting the humor and tragedy of her checkered life, won international rave reviews, and the trio’s irreverent, boisterous and joyful performances immediately established them on the national blues touring circuit.
“It’s been a hell of a ride,” said Polly. “I guess I always thought as a young musician that when I got to 40 or so, I’d be wrapping it up. I was so wrong! I spent lifetime learning, and I finally feel like I’ve put everything I learned into one place. This band represents 75 years of experience between the three of us and we haven’t wasted a minute of it. There aren’t any two other musicians alive I’d rather work with than the guys I’ve got. I’m incredibly excited about these next years.”