By Brian Sidler Former Music Writer & Critic – Chicago Music Magazine
Street is back on the scene.
Scott Pollack has had a distinguished career. Emerging from the acting stages of Chicago in the earlier heydays of Chicago alternative theater and having been part of three repertoire ensembles, namely the famed Wisdom Bridge Theater, which is David Mamet’s, as well as, directors David Baerd and Robert Falls stomping grounds in their earlier days, Quicksilver Theater Repertoire Company, and later the storied Free Street Theater of Patrick Henry.
Street all the while had been honing his skills at the solo singer/songwriter set, having performed all over the USA but especially in his hometown of Chicago, including the Cubby Bear, the venerable “Grande Dame” of folk houses The No Exit Cafe’, and Pat Haran’s Upstairs Hideaway where he held the longest standing gig for a solo guitarist ever in the history of Rush St.
He was the exclusive opening act for rock greats, Enuff Z’Nuff before they hit the national scene with their hit “Fly High Michele”. Chicago blues rock legend Steve Arvey was another. Often times he shared the stage with Chicago’s legendary lead guitar genius from the concert band Conqueror Worm, (led by Mike Rafayko a Chicago ad biz personality) Paul Michael’s during their days when the two of ‘em were marching out the vibe for acoustic rock well before the likes of Dave Matthews were ever on the scene. Concurrently he penned a rock musical called Chicago Rock and Roll about the teen prostitution underground and still very relevant in today’s world.
His song “Goodbye Papa Bear” was featured during Chet Coppock’s eulogy for the late George S. Halas at the time of his passing, when Coppock was working for NBC’s Chicago Affiliate WMAQ. Another tune was featured on Johnathan Brandmeier’s WLUP radio show called “Pressing The Flesh At The Playboy West” when Brandmeier had been running a contest for an all expenses paid trip to the Annual Playboy West Mansion Playmate Party in Beverly Hills. Yet another tune, the first rap commercial in history ever produced and aired, was for a computer program called Micro League Baseball which replaced their celebrity spokesman Sparky Anderson of The Detroit Tigers. It aired in eight markets on the east coast for a period of three years. Said Barry Morstand – CEO of Micro League Baseball at the time: “You said more in 30 seconds than Sparky could in five minutes”.
He was no stranger to the spotlight. He’d been articled a few times in Chicago’s industry rag, Ruth Ratny’s Screen Magazine as a personality to watch.
Later on because of his music biz acumen, Street went behind the curtain to lead The Chicago Songwriter’s Association as its chairman, and went on to form Worldwide TMA with his long time friend and partner Steve Arvey, which led him to re-surge the career of famed pop/soul artist Betty Everett, http://en.wikipedia.
Well, as his publicist, how could I watch one of the best tenor voices anywhere in the country sit and wither away? It was very hard, I can assure you.
In 2006, after a bad auto accident his partner Steve convinced him to open shop again. When they did, as usual, they did it with a bang. But it was a distant thunder, to use a twist of phrase. Street devised a plan to turn the market into something worth listening to again, and in June of that year while learning the rigors of web programming, they spiked, again, the record label Bittersweet Records Co. – Chicago & International. However, they didn’t do it with a hit album. At the time, the market sounded like a terrible cacophony of blurred gangsta rap imagery, with only a smattering of guitar driven music. Nothing was crafted very well. So, that’s when The Daily MySpacian and MySpace Radio had lifted off. It had done so within my profile there, along with the profile of the recording band Dr. 8, founded by him.
Inside The Daily MySpacian & MySpace Radio was a viral app called, The Bittersweet Player. The rest is history, as they say, yet a quiet history to be sure. However, you’re hearing these days, the market sounds that this initiative, invented from Street’s brain had produced because of Street’s programming and music direction. It’s what we’re all enjoying now because of the retro vision embodied in the programming of that app. If you’re interested in that story, it can be viewed here at this link.
Meanwhile, still sitting quietly in the background while trying to help other folks in the biz, mainly artists and a select group of folks needing his consultancy, while managing the career of his partner Arvey, there I was doing the flat work, and haranguing him to get back on the stage! No, was the only answer I received. An emphatic NO!
Something happened though. He reconnected with his high school sweetheart Kris. Thank G-d, that’s all it took to set him ablaze again. Now why didn’t I think of that?
He’s constructed a special traveling sound rig, so that his vibe can be consistently reproduced faithfully no matter the venue or sound system, and be done efficiently which you’ll experience at all of his performances from here forward. No one presently in his end of the spectrum has anything quite like it.
You’ll soon hear one of the most distinct tenor voices in the biz today, whether it’s a rock tune, a folk song, a jazz melody or a country story, no one, and yes I say no one, will thrill you with the sound of their pipes like this distinguished singer/songwriter, especially live. He’s one helluva acoustic guitar player.
His next gig is scheduled to be the steady opening act for Chicago’s Blues Diva – Nellie “Tiger” Travis.
Ladies and Gentlemen, if it pleases you, I give you Street.
Once again, fine folks – The Dawn Breaks.
I’m Brian Sidler and I write about music et al.