Jonny Polonsky hasn’t put out that many albums since his debut Hi My Name Is Jonny in 1996, but he’s still been pretty busy during that whole period of time. Last year’s release of his odds and sods collection of unreleased tracks from over the past two decades, UNRELEASHED: Demos and Rarities 1996-2018, showed that during all that time his nose for consistent power pop with an edge has never dulled. And between his own work, he’s contributed musically to a wide range of artists including Pete Yorn, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, The Dixie Chicks, Minnie Driver (?!), and Puscifer.
So yeah, Polonsky hasn’t exactly been lazy, even if he’s been more content working behind the scenes for the most part.
Since UNRELEASHED, though, Polonsky has been playing solo gigs more often and he returns to his hometown of Chicago (O.K., originally Wilmette) to play a rare show tonight at GMAN Tavern. Tonight’s show is remarkable since Polonsky will be playing Hi My Name Is Jonny in its entirety. The album made a splash upon its initial release, helped along by Polonsky fan, and main Pixie, Frank Black’s vocal support for the then unknown talent behind the music. And it didn’t hurt that the song-craft was wise beyond its years, with a collection of songs that still sound fresh and vibrant today.
Jonny Polonsky plays tonight, November 19, at GMAN Tavern at 7:30 p.m. with Jason Batchko opening.