“Polychrome Mixtape”: Singer/Songwriters Debut at Club Cumming

Written by | Entertainment, Music

Chris Blacker and band

Polychrome Mixtape sounds cutting edge because it is. The retro-futuristic name describes an event organized by local talent Chris Blacker. If successful, he’ll become something of a music matchmaker introducing emerging artists to local audiences. The first showcase takes the stage Friday, March 15 at Club Cumming.

According to the artist, “Polychrome Mixtape is the first installment of what will hopefully be a semi-regular night of singer/songwriters. It grew out of my hope to create an inclusive and collaborative environment for songwriters of all genres to perform their own work and grow their audiences.” (Blacker has self-released several his own original albums and plays regularly on the NYC club circuit.)

Variations on a Theme

Blacker knows there are already nights which put newcomers on an assembly line before largely indifferent crowds. He plans to use themes to distinguish these nights from others already in place.

“In the future,” Blacker explains,”I hope to turn the night into a more thematic evening. Songwriters still perform their work, but their songs are organized around themes.” Those will include “love, breakups, self-acceptance — or around tributes to great songwriters of the past.” That means performers would play a few originals, and a cover tune. “For this first installment I decided to keep the slate blank. The point is to just let people’s music speak for itself.”

The idea came about, he says, because “so many local venues operate a bit like a conveyor belt. They’ll book six or seven bands a night with no cohesion between them and no concept of a ‘bill.’ In most other cities with vibrant music communities, it’s not like that. Bookers try to match bands up stylistically and people go out for the night and listen to two or three performers. My hope is that people come out to support an artist they like and discover some really exciting new music at the same time.”

Who’s On First

Friday’s roster appears at the suggestion of Club Cumming’s booker, Daniel Nardicio. The night’s lineup includes ukulele crooner Antony Cherrie — a veteran of the UK band Johnny Lazer. Also on tap is record producer and touring professional Richard Cortez. The show also featured Brooklyn-based Matracia, whose debut, “Slow” is generating grassroots media excitement. Finally, a group familiar to many locals, the Wendy Hackett Band, is also on tap as an added incentive.

Blacker has a following of his own among piano bar fans on New York’s nightclub scene. He’s an ASCAP Award-winning composer and has been described as a “superb US pop-rock songwriter” by Songwriting Magazine.

Last modified: March 11, 2019

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