CD Review: Shantell Ogden’s “Stories Behind Songs”

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective. As I told ‘The Tennessean’ in 2008, “since moving to Nashville twenty-five years ago, I have met people whose lives do not remotely reflect the caricature of what many outside our city presume to be a ‘Nashvillian’ or the Nashville experience.” “Underground Nashville” thus explores the soul of the city, not its surface—offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew


Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit  Thank you.


CD Review: Shantell Ogden’s “Stories Behind Songs”

By Dave Carew

One of the great pleasures of living in Nashville is meeting rising singer-songwriters who, as the saying goes, “can’t get arrested” when you first meet them . . . then go on to score major successes later. It’s fun to think “I knew them when.”

I predict that—very soon—I’ll be able to say that about Shantell Ogden. From the moment I threw Stories Behind Songs into my CD player, I was struck by how beautifully-crafted, finely-honed, and heartfelt these songs are. And the CD doesn’t even include Shantell’s co-written tune “Lost,” which currently is receiving radio airplay for Acklen Park on 60 country stations coast to coast.

For me, though, the key trait of an outstanding songwriter is not just to have the craft, not just to have the polish, but to have the heart, mind, and soul . . . the ability to convey human emotional complexity—feelings we’ve all had, yet which few of us can convey—with genuine musical beauty and authenticity. Several songs in this collection, including “I Wasn’t Done Loving You Yet” and “I Love Different Now” perfectly fit that bill.

If someone were to ask me, “What will Shantell Ogden be doing a year from now?”, I would respond quickly, and with absolute confidence. I’d say, “She’ll be writing hit songs.”  How do I know that?  Because—for my money—she already is.

For more about Shantell Ogden, visit

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.



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