A Cleveland Native, Singer-Songwriter Kimm Rogers Issues First Album in Two Decades

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click to enlarge A Cleveland Native, Singer-Songwriter Kimm Rogers Issues First Album in Two Decades
Steve Covault
Singer-songwriter Kimm Rogers took one helluva hiatus. Rogers, who put out a couple of acclaimed albums back in the ’90s, recently released Where the Pavement Grows, her first new studio offering in two decades.

“To be perfectly honest, I am just learning the ropes again,” says Rogers, a native Clevelander who plays with Marc Lee Shannon and Angie Haze Project at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Jilly’s Music Room in Akron, in a phone interview from her Ocean Beach, Calif. home. “I feel like Rip Van Winkle. I lost my record deal and slept for a long time and work up to a new music business world. I’m trying to figure out how to tour. I hope to do some touring. I love to play live. When you can feel the energy coming off poeple in a room, it’s an incredible feeling.”

Rogers has really been everywhere. As a kid, she moved from Cleveland to California and then to Nashville before moving back to California. She's also done time in Idaho and New Mexico. In California, she spent some time busking on the Venice Beach boardwalk and established a rep as a songwriter. For Where the Pavement Grows, she teamed up with ace multi-instrumentalist Julian Coryell (son of jazz great Larry Coryell). Her nasally vocals are well-suited to mid-tempo rock tunes such as “Twenty Three,” an introspective song with Joni Mitchell-like qualities to it. 

“I can’t even tell you how incredibly impressed I am with Julian Coryell,” she says of the recording experience which took place at his Venice Beach studio.

The title track is a reference to children’s book author Shel Silverstein, who wrote a poem called Where the Sidewalk Ends.

“When I wrote [the title track] what was going on in my mind is that these things we strive so hard for — we want to be good at love — yet we put these concrete parameters around our belief systems that limit us,” she says. “Here we are in this world we keep building up and building up and it feels like we’re losing our heart and soul because of all of that. The song came from a poem I started but it can mean more than one thing. To define its meaning is up to the listener but it came from that place of why are we making everything so difficult.”

The “pavement” symbolizes what happens when we become adults and can no longer live in the child's world of imagination and wonder.

“Where the pavement grows is like being an adult and what the reality is like," she says. "We lose that sense of wonder, and we’re more locked in the concrete world. It seems totally appropriate to figure out my way of being in this universe. How do you be a good person and get through the day and make it meaningful?”
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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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