Archives for posts with tag: John Willis

Shantell Ogden just released ghosts in the field

Shantell Ogden, photo - Angie Miller

Shantell Ogden, photo – Angie Miller

Shantell Ogden continues her partnership with Producer John Willis on ghosts in the field [Hip Farm Chic Records] after the acclaim of Better at Goodbye which garnered Americana Album of the Year by the International Music and Entertainment Association.

The seven tracks featured on ghosts in the field show continuity although Shantell continues to evolve as a songwriter and a vocalist.

Track one, “Ghosts In The Field” brings Shantell back to her roots of the three generation dairy farm that she grew up on. The most poignant reference is about her grandfather. A touch of old Tom Petty style riffage makes one feel like time travelling back twenty to thirty years while walking the north forty.

So much for day drinking and being drunk on a plane, “Who Comes First” could be a call and response song to all the bro-country drunken anthems about the significant other that is left at home while the person she loves goes off honky-tonkin’ and carousing. The slide guitar definitely brings to mind the drinking on a plane theme of last fall. In the song, the person says “if you reach for me when you’re hurtin’, I’ll be your glass of top shelf bourbon.” It might be something that an alcoholic can relate to and I am sure the theme touches a lot of people that have to deal with a partner’s alcoholism.

shantell-ogden_ghosts-in-the-fieldWhile the seven songs touch on a lot of themes, the most inventive ones of the bunch are “Blossom In The Dust” that reminds one of a lot of people. It can be a reflection on how people view themselves physically or emotionally, especially coming out of a relationship where there may be some emotional scars and baggage. It may take the right partner to see through all the emotional scars and be able to help heal an individual and restore self image and awareness through channeling their original inward beauty.

The other track that really shifts gears for Shantell is the final track, “As Long As You’re Mine” with an arrangement reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready.” The feel grooves like a Dan Penn tune out of Muscle Shoals or maybe a Memphis Stax Gospel cut.

The background gospel choir brings to mind Gladys Knight or maybe something Aretha might go after. Shantell goes from the very Patty Griffin – Emmylou Harris Americana arrangement of “Blossom In The Dust” on track 5 to the soulful “As Long As You’re Mine” two tracks later.

The amazing thing is they are both great songs with two very distinct arrangements just minutes apart.

Shantell Ogden, photo - Chuck Eaton

Shantell Ogden, photo – Chuck Eaton

More than anything, it shows that Shantell is capable not only as an interpreter of her own creations but she could possibly be another Jeffrey Steele writing all over the studio walls of many Country Artist sessions finding her spark of genius climbing up the charts.

Songs like “God Counts Every Tear” could be another page of Little Big Town as much as it could be for this recognized independent Country girl’s muse.

  • Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom

Shantell Ogden Live

Shantell Ogden live at Douglar Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Shantell Ogden live at Douglar Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Tonight was a really special celebration for me. Proceeds from the event will benefit The Next Door, a local non-profit that helps women through addiction recovery services. That, to me, is the ultimate power of music- the power to change lives for the better. I’m so grateful to friends and family who make this journey possible for me, and to everyone who joined me tonight in supporting The Next Door.” – Shantell Ogden

Shantell Ogden  Live at Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Shantell Ogden Live at Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Shantell Ogden had a fantastic benefit  last Saturday night at Nashville’s Historic Douglas Corner Café performing for the first time, outside the studio with a full band, new songs from her upcoming album Better At Goodbye set for release on December 17th.

John Willis and Shantell Ogden answer questions, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

John Willis and Shantell Ogden answer questions, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

John Willis, Musician & Producer, at The Next Door Benefit, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

John Willis, Musician & Producer, at The Next Door Benefit, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

The benefit started with several songwriters taking turns performing some of their biggest hits. “The writer’s rounds featuring Jan Buckingham, Judy Rodman, Susie Brown [The Jane Dear Girls], Britney Holman and Marcum Stewart [Acklen Park] were fantastic.” said Shantell

Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Before performing her set, Shantell had Producer and famed session guitarist John Willis get up and had a little “Making of…” session regarding Better At Goodbye.

It was a special night for Shantell as she took the stage kicking it off with “Where You’re Not,” a song that was written with co-writer Bill DiLuigi while on tour in Cape Cod earlier this year barely in time to be included on the album that was nearing completion.

Kasey Todd performing with Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Kasey Todd performing with Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Although most of her fans have heard recorded full arrangements performed by some of the best studio musicians in the business, nobody had heard Shantell perform live with a full band until Saturday night.

Matt Dolland performing with Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Matt Dolland performing with Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Matt Dolland was the go-to utility guy playing both guitar and pedal steel, duplicating some of the parts recorded by John Willis at his own studio, Willisoundz.

Chad Grant performing with Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Chad Grant performing with Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Chad Grant on Bass and Drummer, Kasey Todd made up the rhythm section that brought to life a lot of songs that most fans heard for the first time. Shantell said, “There was a great energy in the room thanks to the crowd, and it was a blast playing with Matt, Chad and Kasey.”

Andrea Villareal performing with Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Andrea Villareal performing with Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Andrea Villareal joined Shantell on-stage to duet a song new song  called “Love Shouldn’t Hurt.” Shantell also performed a song with Annemarie Neff known as “Great American Song” by Acklen Park that got considerable Country Radio airplay a year or so ago and now has a second life in the recently released film Storm Rider and is now known as “Our American Song” performed by Marcum Stewart and Andrea Villareal retaining the original mix for a whole new crowd.

Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Shantell performed “Till My John Wayne” from her previous release, Stories Behind Songs. The stripped down three piece band context breathed new life showing what a great song it really is. This is the type of song that the TV Show Nashville could write an entire episode around.

Anne Marie Neff performing with Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Anne Marie Neff performing with Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

The capacity crowd of friends, family and press were excited for the new album and eventual tour.

Matt Dolland on pedal steel, Shantell Ogden set, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Matt Dolland on pedal steel, Shantell Ogden set, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Matt turned out to have a great voice on the show closing standard, “Stand By Me,” trading lines with Shantell leaving the crowd wanting more.

Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Hopefully, Shantell will get the opportunity to perform more dates with a great band.

Set List:

1. Where You’re Not

2. The Lie I Tell Myself

3. It’s just the Lonely

4. Love Shouldn’t Hurt

5. Great American Song

6. Till My John Wayne

7. Better at Goodbye

8. Looking for My Last

9. Stand By Me

Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Shantell Ogden, Douglas Corner Cafe, 11/16/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom

Shantell Ogden, photo - Brad Hardisty

Shantell Ogden, photo – Brad Hardisty

Shantell Ogden  has been working on her third solo album with session Nashville Guitarist, John Willis whose credits include Kenny Chesney, Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, Gretchen Wilson among others as well as being honored as “Guitarist of the Year” in 2002 by The Academy of Country Music.

John Willis at Willisoundz, photo - Brad Hardisty

John Willis at Willisoundz, photo – Brad Hardisty

While tracking at Willisoundz, The Nashville Bridge was able to ask Shantell a couple of questions about the process and excitement going on with the current project.

Brad Hardisty / The Nashville Bridge: How did you end up choosing to work with John Willis?

Shantell Ogden: I was talking with a hit-songwriter friend, Jan Buckingham, and told her I was looking for someone who could help me with a ‘left-of-country’ project that would be more alternative/folk sounding. She replied, “That’s John Willis. He can do it all.” She connected us and I went by his studio, Willisoundz, to say hello and check out the space. I played him a couple of rough songs and we talked about where we could go with it. I decided on the spot he was the right person for me to work with on the project because he produces, engineers and plays. In addition to working with top country acts such as Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan and Kenny Chesney, he has also worked with Jewel, Anita Baker and India Arie.  Because of his broad range of experience across genres, I knew we could do what made sense musically for the songs and not just throw a banjo on it because we’re in Nashville.

John Willis, photo - Brad Hardisty

John Willis, photo – Brad Hardisty

TNB: Can you tell us about how you wrote the new song out in Cape Cod?

S.O.: One of my challenges as a writer is that I love ballads and the sadder the better! So, most of my favorite songs are slow or mid tempo- which creates an interesting dynamic when you put the songs in an album collection. I’ve written a lot with Bill DiLuigi, and when he came with me to Cape Cod to play Live from Center Stage, I told him we had to come back with an up-tempo happy song for the album.  I had the title idea from a quote I loved and Bill worked up a nice melody/groove idea; we wrote it sea side on the Cape our last day there. It’s called “Where You’re Not” and it’s about finally settling down after many years of looking. I love the way it turned out!

John Willis, photo - Brad Hardisty

John Willis, photo – Brad Hardisty

TNB: What do you feel is new about this project?

Shantell Ogden, photo - Brad Hardisty

Shantell Ogden, photo – Brad Hardisty

S.O.:  I’m excited about this record because it’s a real evolution for me as a writer/artist. As John puts it, it’s good to stretch your wings as an artist and that’s exactly what I’m doing with the album.

TNB: It looks like you have teamed up with some great songwriters.

Brad Hardisty, Shantell Ogden, John Willis at Willisoundz, September 2013

Brad Hardisty, Shantell Ogden, John Willis at Willisoundz, September 2013

S.O.: I’ve partnered with some of the best hit writers is Nashville, Jan Buckingham and Wood Newton, as well as some of my fast-rising songwriting peers Bill DiLuigi and Marcum Stewart for the project. As a result, the writing is fearless and honest. Thanks to John’s musical abilities, every song will have interesting textures and instrumentation. We aren’t making another cookie-cutter record here, and I can’t wait to share it!

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com