Kyle Reid & Ken Pomeroy — 21st Annual Woody Guthrie Festival, 2018

Woodyfest 2018: Ken Pomeroy

Ken Pomeroy at the Hen House

Prodigy’s Official Woodyfest Début

I first metThis is part thirty of our Woodyfest cov­er­age, fea­tur­ing Moore, Oklahoma singer-​songwriter Ken Pomeroy. singer-​songwriter Ken Pomeroy on . Her father, Skippy, builds rac­ing motor­cy­cles in the large shop behind the fam­ily home and occa­sion­ally hosts con­certs on the small stage inside.I’ve been in many green rooms. But Skippy’s green room, by day a spray booth for paint­ing motor­cy­cles, is the nicest. Before a con­cert Skippy fur­nishes it with com­fort­able, uphol­stered fur­ni­ture, tables, lamps, a rug, and art­work. And of course he and his wife Wendy stock it with plenty of snacks and drinks for the musi­cians. The shop does triple-​duty as it also some­times serves as Wendy’s pho­tog­ra­phy stu­dio. Kyle Reid and the Low-​Swinging Chariots head­lined the end-​of-​year cel­e­bra­tion. Before Reid’s set, Ken played a short set of cov­ers and orig­i­nal songs to a recep­tive audi­ence.

Besides the matu­rity of her writ­ing, what really struck me about Pomeroy’s per­for­mance was that she had already devel­oped a stage pres­ence. Despite only being thirteen-​years-​old, Pomeroy did not stand motion­less with her eyes closed, retreat­ing into some performer’s inner sanc­tum. She kept her lids open. She feigned eye-​contact with the audi­ence. She talked to them. She engaged with them.

I say “feigned” look­ing because the light­ing at Skippy’s is pretty decent, which means it’s too bright for the per­form­ers to actu­ally see the audi­ence. That’s good, because it means the audi­ence can see the per­form­ers.

It also means musi­cians may be tempted to close their eyes for their own com­fort even if shy­ness or stage-​fright isn’t already an issue. And I know many grown-​up men and women who haven’t fig­ured out that that dimin­ishes the fan expe­ri­ence because it puts up a bar­rier to con­nect­ing with the audi­ence. I asked Pomeroy after the show who taught her to keep her eyes open like that. I just fig­ured it out, she said.

Ken Pomeroy — “The Sidewalk Song,” The Oklahoma Room at Folk Alliance 2018

Pomeroy began singing, writ­ing songs, and play­ing the ukulele at age nine. By ten she was play­ing gui­tar. Since I saw her at Skippy’s she’s opened for or shared stages with Wanda Jackson, Stony LaRue, and Bo Phillips. She’s per­formed on the big stages at the Centennial Opry and the Riverwind Casino. She was the first win­ner of the Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest and is also a recip­i­ent of the Rising Star Award from the Songwriters Association of Norman. The Oklahoma Room at Folk Alliance com­pi­la­tionTulsa’s non-​profit music label Horton Records releases an annual com­pi­la­tion to ben­e­fit Okie artists show­cas­ing at Folk Alliance International. Past issues, as well as Pomeroy’s new album, are avail­able from their Bandcamp page. included her song, “The Sidewalk Song,” which she per­formed at Folk Alliance International .

Pomeroy has been appear­ing on the unof­fi­cial stage at Lou’s Rocky Road TavernLou’s Rocky Road Tavern served as an unof­fi­cial venue for Woodyfest since its incep­tion, fea­tur­ing fes­ti­val per­form­ers and host­ing open-​mic ses­sions through­out. fes­ti­val orga­niz­ers bestowed them offi­cial sta­tus. since . marked her offi­cial Woodyfest début, where she per­formed selec­tions from her first full-​length album, Hallways. , she played Mile 0 Fest. , she is in Key West, Florida, mak­ing her sec­ond appear­ance at Mile 0.

— Chris J. Zähller

Gallery: Ken Pomeroy

Gallery

About Chris J. Zähller

International Man of Mystery. Cocktail Nerd. Occasionally designs websites. Sometimes snaps a picture or two.

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