Heartfelt Songs From Oklahoma Teenager
With delicately picked guitar, and the kind of voice in which plate reverbs were built for, Oklahoman Ken Pomeroy writes songs from the singer-songwriter side of modern folk that are reminiscent of both Nanci Griffith and Patty Griffin.
That’s the short version. Here’s a longer one.
Ken Pomeroy is a singer-songwriter from Oklahoma who started singing and playing music at a very young age and released her first EP, Minutes to Hours, in 2017. At the tender age of fifteen she has already won several songwriting awards including the Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest with her entry “The Sidewalk Song,” and has opened up for rockabilly giant Wanda Jackson, as well as playing some of her original songs on the Oklahoma Rodeo Opry stage. Pomeroy has played music festivals near her home on the windy plains of Oklahoma and as far away as sunny Key West and several in between. With her second release, Hallways, Pomeroy has crafted seven heartfelt songs which do an admirable job of showcasing her voice as well as her guitar playing.
Now young girls playing guitar and writing their own songs have decidedly taken an upswing in these post-Taylor Swift Wannabe years, but I feel that we are finally nearing the end of this arc, leaving only the truly talented and dedicated to continue on. Thankfully, Ken Pomeroy is as gifted as she is dedicated. One doesn’t write a song such as “Hallways” with lines like “A different direction I turn my head, trying to look away from the demons I’ve fed,” and then sing it with understated grace without first working hard at your craft, listening to other songwriters, singing a song over and over until you know how best to convey its darknesses and contradictions. These are heady songs, not fluff in the least, presented simply, letting the guitar frame Pomeroy’s voice perfectly. I hear many influences in Pomeroy’s music, but the afore mentioned Nanci Griffith and Patty Griffin stand out to me, especially on repeated listens. Not in the delivery, but certain turns of phrase, the smart, poetic lyrics that are so concise and well thought out throughout.
“The Sidewalk Song” is the centrepiece of this collection, but it’s the title song, “Hallways,” which won me over with its ambient backing track and plaintive vocal delivery. Pomeroy has some good songs and I like the terse production on this collection, but it would be nice to hear her stretch her wings next time with something with a bit more thump to it, or a quicker pace, as most of these songs clock in with a similar meter.
Keep on writing and singing, Miss Pomeroy, I’ll be listening.
Review by The Legendary Roy Peak esq.
Released November 2nd 2018