Shantell Ogden releases superb “The Road That Drives Me”


by Dave Carew     *     Photo by Chuck Eaton

During the many years I lived in Nashville, I never met a singer-songwriter who cared more passionately about her craft, or about writing songs that truly connect with people, than Shantell Ogden. After moving to Nashville from her “homeland” of rural Utah, Shantell set about creating a body of work that now has been repeatedly lauded by the International Music and Entertainment Association (Songwriter of the Year, Americana Song of the Year, Americana Album of the Year).

Those awards are nice—and richly deserved—but they aren’t as revelatory as actually listening to Shantell’s music. And that is doubly true for her latest album, the stand-out The Road That Drives Me.

One critical characteristic of an outstanding songwriter is the ability to write a melody so distinctive and indelible that it manifests in the ear as completely fresh and completely familiar—all at the same time. That is Shantell’s gift on tracks from “The Truth about Trains” to “Devil Comes Knockin’,” to “The Road That Drives Me,” all of which reveal a deeply perceptive, spiritual vision of the American landscape. From truth-revealing trains . . . to country roads stretching to an endless horizon . . . to boyfriends who “got a lot to learn about loving [her],” this album is like a beautiful fountain, pouring its beauty and truth out from the deepest wellsprings of the female heart—and the still-rich American dream.

In an era when too many songwriters settle for “good enough” melodic treatment and lyrics, Shantell Ogden respects herself and her audience enough to never settle for second-best—to consistently and lovingly craft work that ranks with that of the finest Americana artists and songwriters of her era. She does so again—richly and unforgettably—on the must-have The Road That Drives Me.

For more about Shantell Ogden, please visit:

David M. (Dave) Carew is the acclaimed author of the novel “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville,” which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful.” For more information, please visit:



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