Old Tyme Blues
Acoustic guitar and vocal blues duo
Early 20th century American acoustic blues; featuring Doc’s unique finger-picking guitar technique and Polly’s powerful vocals.
Dr. Kenneth S. Uhnak and Paula Ann DiGati are better known to the local music community as “Doc & Polly.” Both native Rhode Islanders, they settled in Winter Harbor, Maine in the summer of 2019. Within the past year, they have become known for their faithful renditions of early 20th century American acoustic blues; featuring Ken’s unique finger-picking guitar technique and Paula’s powerful vocals, both well suited to the genre. Although they have performed independently in other contexts, “Doc & Polly” is an emerging musical act.
Doc’s career path culminated as an academic, holding a PhD in the biological sciences, but his first degree was in music composition. Since his retirement from university life, his creative endeavors have led him back to his love of the blues, its history, and in documenting the acoustic guitar techniques of the early masters of the genre.
In addition to her musical pursuits, Polly’s background includes fine art and graphics, art education, creative writing, and many aspects of theater craft, both on and offstage. Her vocal performance, delivered in rich, deep tones, is evocative of early blues divas Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey.
Much of the music they perform now was groundbreaking in its day and has continued to influence generations of musicians and captivate audiences for nearly a century. Occasionally, some later tunes and originals may find their way to their audience’s ears, but it is with the hope of keeping the acoustic blues genre alive to preserve it for the future that drives Doc & Polly to continue to hone their craft as traditionalists.