Kerry Polk
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Kerry Polk

Band Americana Folk


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The best kept secret in music


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Hardtop Jubilee (solo release)
The Way Things Are (Polk, Barton, & Towhead)


Feeling a bit camera shy


KERRY POLK and the new release
Hardtop Jubilee
IUKA/deep south records

Producer: Mark Hallman
Studio: Congress House Studio, Austin

Musicians/Instruments: David Hamburger (Dobro, National Steel, Pedal Steel), Karen Mal (Mandolin), Mark Hallman (Drums, Electric Guitar), Elana Fremerman (Violin), Jane Gillman (Dulcimer, Harmonica), Glen Fukanaga (Stand-up Bass), Catherine Berry (Harmony Vocals), Lenny Ashcraft (Bass), Michael Austin (Clarinet) and Rich Brock (Blues Harp).

About Kerry Polk and Hardtop Jubilee
Freedom, with an edge of responsibility. It¹s the thrill of driving a vintage car down a Mississippi Delta Highway. But it¹s not a convertible, it¹s a hardtop. With the windows down, you still feel the rain. Hardtop Jubilee is Kerry Polk¹s first solo CD. Kerry Polk grew up witnessing incredible change as desegregation swept through her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. She has since found a home in Austin and a home in Texas music. She formed Polk, Barton & Towhead with John Barton in 1995 releasing their debut CD, The Way Things Are, to favorable reviews in 1997.

Now on her own, Kerry’s music features stories from family experiences and asks questions perhaps we’d all like to ask. Her tales are drawn from truth and myth alike ranging from subjects of an artist’s loneliness to the simple mystical moment of twilight. Wrote the Austin Chronicle, “Kerry Polk and John Barton touch on Iris Dement, Son Volt, Kelly Willis, and Bob Dylan to sculpt their own milieu of thoughtful lyrics and rustic moods.”

Produced by Mark Hallman, (Eliza Gilkyson, Tom Russell, Ani diFranco) Hardtop Jubilee is a collection of Austin singer-songwriter Kerry Polk¹s songs that remind us of how much the past influences the present. The writing is quintessentially southern, and truly Austin in its celebration of sweet nostalgia. Literally, Polk¹s song "Jukebox ‘59" takes you right back to the Civil Rights era in the South; and since it includes sections of his "Baby What You Want Me to Do", is a posthumous co-write of sorts with Jimmy Reed. Polk¹s "Swing with Me" tells the story of her great-great grandparents who met just before the Civil War, and includes an invitation to swing in the perfumed air of a mimosa tree.

The ballad "Horse in These Hills" puts the hardtop on the jubilee, telling the story of a Vietnam Vet who returned to his small-town home with a heroin addiction. "In the Twilight" features Michael Austin¹s beautiful, jazz-inspired clarinet solo, evocative of the Cowboy Junkies’ "If I was the Woman and You Were the Man". Rootsy and flirtatious, "‘65 Ford Fairlane" wanders the roads of the South in a celebration of freedom, with the reckless abandon of an 18-year-old whose dream car paves the way to a true coming of age.

Featuring David Hamburger, Glen Fukanaga, Elana Fremerman, and Karen Mal, Hardtop Jubilee is rich in melody and textured in its instrumentation, production and mix. Much like the music of John Prine, Polk¹s songs come through with a rare combination of grace, power, and vulnerability, and have a healthy dose of twang. She is strong and resolute in "Wheel Keeps on Turnin’", and wistful as she sings "Song to a Poet", a tribute to Townes Van Zandt.

Kerry’s songwriting recently received honors when she was named one of ten finalists at the 2004 Wildflower! Festival Songwriting Competition in Dallas. In Kerrville’s New Folk Competition she represented Regional Performers at the Kerrville Music Festival and competed in Utah’s Founders Title Bluegrass Festival Songwriter Showcase in July. Polk, Barton & Towhead’s 1997 release, The Way Things Are, was produced by Rich Brotherton (Robert Earl Keen, Caroline Herring) and was recognized by the Austin Music Awards in six categories.

Further Info: Booking:
Tel.: 512-789-3352

Performances - Venues and Radio
As a solo artist, Kerry has appeared at Austin’s premiere listening room, the Cactus Café, the Live Oak Coffeehouse, Walden Coffeehouse (San Antonio), Austin’s Folk House, Artz Ribhouse including SXSArtz and Waterloo Ice House. Radio appearances include “KGSR in the Morning with Kevin and Kevin”, KUT’s “Folkways” with David Oberman, “Eklektikos” with John Aiellie, KUT’s “Live Set” with Tom Pittman and Joe Angel’s “Random Routes” (KEOS - College Station). Festival appearances include the Regional Artist Showcase at New Folk (Kerrville Festival), Wildflower! Festival—Dallas, Founder’s Title Bluegrass Festival’s Songwriter Showcase and Frie