Marshfield’s Chrissi Poland talks about coming home to perform
By Ruth Thompson
Posted Jul 18, 2018 at 4:00 PM
Singer/songwriter/musician Chrissi Poland, a Marshfield native, will be performing at The River Club Music Hall, 78 Border St. in Scituate, for “An Evening with Chrissi Poland, Ari Hest & Mike Errico” at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 26.
While Poland writes her own material and very much enjoys playing different instruments at her live shows, singing is her first love.
She answered a few questions for the Mariner ahead of her upcoming concert.
Tickets for the show are a $15/general admission, $25 reserved. For more information visit theriverclubmusichall.com.
How long have you been playing music professionally?
I’d say for 20 years since before college, making a little money here and there doing local pick up gigs. Then onward and upward from there, it’s been a wild ride so far. Although I did crash the wedding band at my cousin’s wedding when I was 4, asking if I could sit in and sing “Tomorrow” from Annie. Does that count?
Can you talk a bit about your upcoming show at the River Club?
The show will be an NYC Songwriters In The Round format, where three of us – myself, Ari Hest and Mike Errico – will all share the stage and go down the line playing an original song, telling the story of how it came about.
What do you enjoy about this sort of performance?
It gives the audience a more intimate look inside the creative process of a songwriter and brings the audience into the connection the three of us have as writers and artists. It’s sort of like that show MTV “Unplugged,” and feels very much like a grown-up rock and roll story hour. Juicy details always start flying.
What can you say about Ari and Mike, who will be part of the roundtable?
Two of the most wonderful songwriters and artists I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Ari and I met for the first time six years ago in London, where we had both been invited to take part in a small tour around the UK. Sidebar, we connected so much as people and musicians on that tour, we decided to fall in love and get married a few years later.
I remember a year or so into knowing him, Ari said to me, “You really need to meet my friend Mike Errico, you’ll love his songwriting.” Sure enough, he was right. Ari and Mike toured together years ago and have guested on each others’ shows, and through Ari, I’ve become friends with Mike, and we’ve worked on some songwriting together.
It seems like the perfect storm of a good show to have us all together on stage. Ari brings an incredible array of folk and Americana to his work, while Mike brings a lot of rock and pop/singer-songwriter stylings. I bring a sort of soul/pop vibe with my writing, so there’s quite a listening palate for the audience to experience.
You are originally from this area, what is it like to return “home” as a performer?
I love coming home to play. It’s a chance to see old friends and family as well as meet new people that come to the show. Because I play so much out of town or on the road, my family doesn’t get to see a lot of my live performances. It’s nice to have them all around at a hometown show.
Who would you say has been your biggest professional inspiration?
It’s such a hard question to answer. There have been so many people, artists, and non-artists, who have inspired me on my path. If I had to pick someone who’s had an impact, I can definitely talk about Bette Midler. I did a tour with her a few years ago, singing along side her for a stretch of TV performances and live shows promoting her album ‘It’s The Girls.’ When I was a kid, I was infatuated with her brash comedy, her unique look, her ability to tell a story through a song, and her sheer will to make it in show business. Spending a couple of months by her side working with her all those years later was very affirming and inspiring. I believe that in life when you are following your true path, magical things can happen. Going from imitating Bette in the mirror as a child to standing next to her singing live on the “Today Show” made me truly feel like anything is possible.
Can you talk about your recent album, “Waking Hour”?
Waking Hour is a record that tells of a great deal of personal experiences over the course of the year I was writing it. At the time I was writing those songs, I was temporarily living just outside Las Vegas near Red Rock National Park. I had a good amount of time to focus on that material and in a beautiful setting, opposite of the manic New York City energy I had been steeped in for the past several years. There’s peacefulness to the album, but a soulful grit as well.
What inspires you in your songwriting?
Wanting to make something great – something that will make people feel the depth of their own experience in life. Also, the desire to express my existence in a way that makes sense to me…through music.
Which of your songs would you say is your favorite, and why?
As far as released songs, I’d say “Possible” is always a fun one to play. “Angel Weep For Me” allows me to dig into some deeper emotions when playing it live, I like that.
Outside of music, what else do you enjoy?
Standing on my head in a yoga class, finding a beach to enjoy (preferably on a tropical or deserted island). I love to cook as well, it’s very similar to creating music, and the two are so closely related as far as our senses go – food and music. Both bring a sense of community, connection, life force.
What would you like your audience to leave your show with?
With a feeling of happiness, peace and that they just forgot all about the dilemmas of life for a couple of hours. Oh, and also with a bunch of our CDs!