By Sheena Barnett
OXFORD – The stars have aligned for Morgan Pennington.
She never set out to be a musician, until her love for words and music collided.
Pennington, 28, came to Oxford 10 years ago from her hometown, Pascagoula, to study English, and along the way she picked up a guitar.
“Poetry was my favorite class,” said Pennington, who works for Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson. “I went to shows and I envied the people on stage.”
She started songwriting and, in the past year, decided to pursue music as a career.
“The melody is easy. But I want the lyrics to match the melody. Writing lyrics isn’t easy,” she said.
She draws on her own life as well as other lives – whether they’re being lived by her friends and family or characters in books, movies or TV – for her lyrics.
“None of the songs are about me directly. I’ve always been a people watcher and an observer. That’s a good thing, but it’s also a curse. People rub off on me very easily. I feel like I’m hyper-sensitive, and it helps me write,” she said.
Pennington has formed a band, and the group descended on Black Wings Studio in Water Valley to record her debut EP, “Wolves.” It’ll officially be released Saturday, when she performs a free show at Double Decker Festival at 10 a.m.
The EP will be available online for $5, or a CD copy is $7.
“It was a skeleton of a thing, but now what we have is like a full person and it’s taking shape,” she said.
Her music is solid when it’s just her and her guitar, but it comes into full color when her band is with her.
“I call it acoustic soul and synth-pop,” she said.
Pennington is excited about her success in music so far. She’s also starting a band with Black Wings owner Winn McElroy.
She hopes the stars continue to guide her as she furthers her craft.
“Oxford has been incredible. I’ve always believed that if you’re doing something you love, that makes an easy transition,” she said. “I’m gonna keep on keeping on.”
DOUBLE DECKER MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL
• What: Live music, arts and crafts, art demonstrations, food, 5K/10Ks, kids’ area, storytelling and more
• When: Friday-Sunday
• Where: Downtown Oxford
• Cost: Free
• Info: doubledeckerfestival.com
Double Decker music schedule
6 p.m. – Rosco Bandana
7 p.m. – Thacker Mountain Radio
8 p.m. – The Bo-Keys
10 a.m. – Morgan Pennington
11:30 a.m. – Garry Burnside
1 p.m. – Dent May
2:30 p.m. – T-Bird and the Breaks
4 p.m. – The Infamous Stringdusters
5:30 p.m. – The Wild Feathers
7 p.m. – Preservation Hall Jazz Band
8:45 p.m. – Charles Bradley