Singer/songwriter Kimm Rogers knows all too well the ups and downs of the music industry. Her star was on the rise in the late 1980s and early ‘90s when the Cleveland-born musician was making a go of things in Los Angeles. Her 1990 debut album “Soundtrack of My Life” earned her some critical acclaim and helped land Rogers supporting gigs for the likes of John Doe, Squeeze and Warren Zevon.
She built on that momentum with a solid sophomore effort in 1992’s “Two Sides,” but her career soon got off track. The 1994 Northridge earthquake shook Rogers both spiritually and physically and she relocated to Idaho. She decided to pursue a college degree and eventually landed in New Mexico, where she developed a music program for adults with cognitive and physical disabilities.
“I was loved strictly for the music,” Rogers says of her time in New Mexico. “It wasn’t the record deal or the publisher, or hipster affection or how I looked that gave me back my confidence. It was these lovely people.”
Now back in California, Rogers at long last returned to the studio. Third full-length “Where the Pavement Grows” comes a quarter century after her last effort, but she remains a gifted and talented musician/storyteller. She’s justifiably proud of the 10-track release — “I have waited my entire life to make this one,” Rogers says — that showcases her strong writing and distinct vocals.
The opening tandem of “Rain” and “Twenty-Three” sets the tone for the 42-minute slab, and Rogers also scores with “As Good As It Gets,” “The Ballad of Moon Valley Road,” the title track and “Star Filled Canopy.” Here’s hoping she won’t make us wait so long for the next record. (Jeffrey Sisk)