Dave Pomeroy is a bassist that should need no introduction to those of us who play and love the bass.
I learned of him many years before I got the privilege to meet and get to know him. He has been featured in bass publications as both a columnist and as a featured artist over the years. Most importantly, he has been the bassist on countless monumental recording sessions with many well-known artists.
Another of Dave Pomeroy’s responsibilities is that of president of the Nashville Musicians Association, American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Local 257. Dave is also an elected member of the American Federation of Musicians International Executive Board. These are responsibilities he takes very seriously. He is often travelling on behalf of the musicians’ union advocating for union members. Many times, the issues Pomeroy and the AFM work on benefit non-union members as well.
“Angel In The Ashes” is a wonderful recording that is very personal. The songs and lyrics give the listener a very clear idea of who Dave Pomeroy is and what is important to him. The title of the CD is inspired by the loss of Dave’s house and its contents to a catastrophic fire some years ago. Although many of Dave Pomeroy’s basses were lost in the fire, the loss his beloved dog Duke “the singing dog” was even more tragic than the loss of the basses.
One of the most unusual things about “Angel In The Ashes” is the fact that 41 basses were used to make this CD. Yes, you read that right…41 basses. That fact intrigued me when I first heard about this CD. However, the use of 41 basses was not a promotional tool or gimmick. The basses all have a very musical function, and it is not at all obvious that so many basses were used to make this recording.
Pomeroy’s choice of songs is as eclectic as it is personal. For example, “Hands” pays a wonderful tribute to Dave’s first “real” Nashville gig with Guy Clark. “There’s A Healing Coming” is a positive commentary in these negative times – an optimistic and realistic hope for the future. “Date With A Bass” is a live acoustic bass & voice original song. It is my favorite on this record because it speaks about the relationship between bass players and their basses. It is a great, happy melody that is infused with a lot of comedy that is funny, but true.
“Ball of Money In The Cloud” is a brilliant medley of the songs “Ball of Confusion”, “For The Love of Money”, and “Cloud Nine”. The arrangement of this great medley is fantastic! Aside from the great basslines, Dave Pomeroy does a wonderful job vocally. For the record, and I know you are wondering… Dave absolutely kills it on “For The Love of Money”. That bassline has been badly emulated since it was recorded by Anthony Jackson in the 1970’s. Here, Dave really knocks it out of the park.
Although it is convenient to download the tracks of this CD from iTunes, Amazon, etc. I strongly urge you to order the CD. The liner notes and pictures are worth the extra effort. Reading Dave’s liner notes will give you even more insight into Dave’s thoughts on each song. You’ll see a great picture of Duke “the singing dog”, Cleopatra, Dave’s cat, and of course, the 41 basses used on the CD. Pomeroy goes beyond expressing his motivation for selecting the various songs on this CD, he writes a personal note to the listener. To me, these notes are the other half of this project, and I would have missed a great deal had I not read them. The length of Dave Pomeroy’s “Angel In The Ashes” is a generous 14 songs.