Sean Poluk

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Sean Poluk – No More Hate | Album Review

Sean Poluk – No More Hate    

www.seanpoluk.com

CD: 12 Songs, 43:00 Minutes

Styles: Drone/Trance Blues, Roots, Americana, All Original Songs 

When it comes to socially-conscious art, the message is often more important than the medium. Exhibit A: the title track of Canadian Sean Poluk’s No More Hate. In this era of tribal politics and polarization, we need such a sentiment more than ever. Musicians and other artists are often at the forefront promoting them. When done well, “woke” art truly wakes people up. As for this CD, it’s a mixed bag. Its ethos is empowering enough, but the music is both enigmatic and heavy-handed. Most of the twelve tracks are drone/trance blues, a la the North Mississippi Hill Country. One could also deem them roots, folk, or Americana. Vocally, Sean sounds rather like a subdued Dave Matthews, which is a plus. Another is the harmonies added by his backup singers. “Meditative” would be a good adjective for this sort of blues, perfect for a day of chilling out.

Poluk’s website reveals quite a bit about his debut CD – and, inadvertently, this one: “An established and respected member of the blues community, Sean Poluk released Never in 2012. Featuring Spanish as well as Canadian backing musicians, the album generated critical acclaim and glowing reviews in both countries. Blending old with new in a refreshing, authentic manner, Never is an aural hootenanny, a seamless mix of blues and roots-oriented panache. In 2014, Sean released a series of live performance videos to showcase new songs and promote his growing repertoire. Never content to stand still, the artist is continuously writing new music.” “Aural hootenanny” also describes this release, especially in regards to its Hill Country vibe.

Along with lead vocalist and guitarist Poluk are David Moreira on violin and viola; Edith Salazar and David de la Fuente on background vocals/choirs; Daniel “Melón” Jimènez on Spanish guitar; Osi Martínez on harmonica; Edith Salazar on keyboards; Josè Vicente Muñoz on double bass and electric bass, and David de la Fuente on percussion and drums.

The title track hits like a sledgehammer, both in its biting guitar intro and no-nonsense lyrics.

Track 02: “No More Hate” – “June 17, 2-0-1-5. Charleston, South Carolina. Nine dead, five survivors. One flag to remind us: no more hate.” Let’s face it, folks, this is the “Ohio” of the 2010’s. Even its hard-driving rhythm is reminiscent of Neil Young’s legendary eulogy. Sean proceeds to name the victims in the course of the song, reminding us that they were each an individual human being. That’s what those who perpetrate violence so conveniently ignore.

There are no barroom stomps, earworm sing-alongs, or surefire dance floor hits here, but that’s not the purpose of this CD. On No More Hate,the message surpasses the medium every time.

 

http://www.bluesblastmagazine.com/sean-poluk-no-more-hate-album-review/

No More Hate 2018 

Sean Poluk is a musician deeply interested in musical research and, in this way, be able to give a new dimension to the blues. This time he has travelled to Spain to record this album, where he has been surrounded by some Spanish, Venezuelans musicians, as well as some ones coming from his own country, Canada. Although the basis of the songs can be found in the blues, each musician contributes with his own experience to create something new and different from what blues lovers are used to listen to. The album includes twelve songs where, besides Sean Poluk on vocals and acoustic resonator guitar, you will also find David Moreira on violin and viola, Daniel "Melón" Jiménez on Spanish guitar, Osi Martínez on harmonica, Edith Salazar on keyboards, José Vicente Muñoz on bass and double bass, David De La Fuente on drums and percussion and the backing voices of Edith Salazar and David De La Fuente. This is an intimate dreamlike, bucolic and mysterious album, specially devoted to daring and demanding palates who want to go beyond what we normally have the opportunity to listen to, VERY GOOD.

 

Don’t expect any John Mayall or Muddy Waters mixed into a Sean Poluk setlist.
Yes, the Sault Ste. Marie-born blues musician has a healthy respect for the masters. But, when playing southern Ontario gigs — and even some Spain shows, these days — Poluk keeps to his own compositions. 
Naturally, he’s done his share of covers when playing with any number of bands in the Canadian cities he’s called home over the years. But now, Poluk, 47, is determined to perform specifically what he’s written.
“When I’m out playing, I really enjoy playing my own music,” Poluk told the The Sault Star in a recent interview from his home in Kitchener, Ont. “People come out and they’re enjoying it as well. I just want to keep on doing that.”
And he can, given what he describes as a solid of arsenal of tunes he’s penned since the 2012 release of his debut offering, Never, which, itself, contained 10 originals. These newer numbers — there are even a couple nods to his native Northern Ontario — have found a home on his second album, No More Hate, billed as an “international roots and blues, americana” album, backed by musicians from Canada, Venezuela and Spain.
“I had just been contemplating whether or no to do a new album,” he said. “But I kind of just broke down and said, ‘You know what? I’m just going to carry on.’”
In fact, the album was recorded in Spain, a nation to which Poluk has become no stranger. Never was mixed in Madrid, he’s toured the southwestern European nation and went on to marry a woman from there. Betty Ortiz was his fiancee when the debut went to press, with the project becoming a family affair, of sorts, as an aunt lent vocals to some Never tracks. This time around, she had a much greater hand in the enterprise, mastering the work as well as lending vocals and piano.
Poluk salutes his inlaw’s contribution.
“If Betty and I had never met, I wouldn’t have met her aunt and I wouldn’t have met all these great musicians that played on my album,” he said.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the mostly favourable climate there is conducive to creativity.
“It helps with the mood, that’s for sure,” Poluk said. “Everyone loves the sunshine.”
Poluk also tips his hat to the musicians who backed the album. He insists there was no language barrier, just the odd head shake at titles, such as the hometown salute, The Soo Is Her Name, and Sudbury Bound.
“I’ll show them on the map, ‘This is what I’m talking about here and this is what I’m talking about in Sudbury,” said Poluk, who has family in the Sault and visits at least twice a year. “It’s kind of cool.”
The first week the 12-track No More Hate was available this spring at AirPlay Direct for radio, it was in the Top 50 albums downloaded at No. 4. The self-release also hit No. 1 on the Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Acoustic Album Blues for the week of June 2. 
Such rich recognition is nice, but doesn’t place Poluk in a position in which he can make a living exclusively as a tunesmith. 
“My passion is music, but it doesn’t quite totally pay the bills,” says the self-described “tradesman.” “So, I have to do a little bit of work, definitely. (Working in music full-time) is always on my mind … working toward that. That’s the goal.”
In September, Poluk plans to take No More Hate on the road in Spain and, later, southern Ontario. Spanish gigs will feature original album musicians.
“I’m really looking forward to that,” Poluk said.
Given his Spanish connections, is a full-time move on the radar?
“Betty and I have thought about it, but it’s still up in the air,” Poluk said. “As of right now, we’re happy where we’re at. We’re going to play it by ear.”
jougler@postmedia.com
On Twitter: @JeffreyOugler

My new album No More Hate is #1 on the Roots Music Report acoustic blues chart. 

My album No More Hate is on the Earshot Charts for Fredericton at #1  thank you for your consideration

No More Hate is moving up the Canadian Roots Music Report Charts for the week of May 26th at #15 

 

My album No More Hate is charting on the Canadian Roots Music Charts for May 20th at #23

 

 

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