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Scituate, Mass. singer-songwriter David Ogden returns to his roots on new CD

2009 May 10
by Steve Ide

David Ogden ~ photo by Amy Osten

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams; live the life you’ve imagined.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Singer-songwriter David Ogden says he tries to live by that Thoreau quote. He’s traveled around the country and back again, and the path has returned him to his roots. Born and raised in Scituate, Mass., Ogden had been a regular on the South Shore music scene before heading to Florida in the mid 80’s to explore other dreams. But, now he’s home again.

Ogden’s music, a mix of meticulously picked acoustic guitar and warm, soothing vocals, wraps around classic images of New England and Boston’s South Shore. His fifth CD, “No Better Place” (Coastal Fog Records, davidogdenmusic.com), is rife with imagery of his home, which he calls the “Irish Riviera,” a reference to the seaside region so named because of the influx of Irish-Americans who vacationed there in the ’20s and ’30s. It’s no wonder “1-4-3 (Lighthouse Song)” is backed by the sound of pennywhistles.

“Off the coast of Cohasset,
She’s got a Boston point of view,
a lighthouse that flashes 1-4-3,
I-love-you.”

The CD, produced by Ben Wisch (Marc Cohen, Patty Larkin, David Wilcox) pays homage to New England in “No Better Place,” a quick-paced, percussive lyrical canvas of life in the Northeast, with mentions of fly rods, Maine cabins, the Vineyard and more.

Playlist of songs by David Ogden
Songs include “Every Man’s Heart” and “God Only Knows.”

David OgdenOgden, who had worked in Florida managing a music production company, says he and his wife, Dawn, returned to the South Shore about 6 years ago. “Being a Yankee and New Englander in Florida, I got homesick,” he said. He found himself writing songs about his original hometown. “I missed performing. I missed writing. I missed following that dream … I took that leap of faith [back into performing]” he said, by returning to New England. “It’s been an uphill battle. Independent music is a tough thing.”

His songs delve into familiar folk music territory, with introspective melodies about life, love and spirituality. He sings about his first guitar, handed down from his grandfather to his father, then to him, in “Grandfather’s Guitar.” “Even though it was a bit weathered, strings a mile off the frets, and always out of tune, it was great. I took it everywhere, a couple of buds making up songs and plucking out old Beatles tunes. Little did I know it would send me on a lifelong journey.” One tune, “Woodsmoke and Rain,” relies on his guitar today, in a peaceful, emotive, picked instrumental.

Ogden performs solo, with a band or with Norwell singer-songwriter Les Sampou, who adds bluesy harmonies on “God Only Knows.” Also joining Ogden on this CD are Jennifer Kimball, Duke Levine, Ben Whitman and a half-dozen other musicians. “It’s been fantastic to get in touch with old friends again and be back playing again, writing, recording and getting back on the right track.”

2 Responses Post a comment
  1. jack whiting permalink
    August 16, 2009

    Wow,listening to and learning bout David Ogden was
    is an experience!I am a singer/songwriter (bluegrass gospel)who was born and raised in Scituate,left for Florida in 1955 and returned in
    July 2009 to see my hometown and soak up the memories of living on the sandhills near the lighthouse.
    Hope to return next year.really hope to meet David someday and hear more of his music.
    Yes,I love Scituate Harbor!

  2. Mark Peters permalink
    October 24, 2009

    Hey David .. we need to get another Maria’s sub before the snow sets in …. it’ been too long. Congrats on the new CD. When driving home that evening it have me teary eyes.. You’ve come a long way from our high school days of singing in the bathroom at Patty’s party’s LOL

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