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A CMA Saturday Night!

Amber Hayes and some of her newest fans!
"Hey you get down the fiddle and you get down the bow, Kick off your shoes and throw em on the floor,
Dance in the kitchen till morning light,…

Screaming Backwards with Judy Rodman

If you're in Nashville, chances are you've heard of Judy Rodman. Not only is she a top vocal coach, she's a hit songwriter, in-demand vocal session producer and avid artist with her most recent band 6Play.

Vintage Blog: "Jason Mraz: I'm Back"

Here’s a blast from the past…a story I did on Jason Mraz and his album “Mr. A-Z”, back in 2005.  Hope you enjoy it!

Jason Mraz: “I’m Back”
By Shantell Ogden (originally appeared in the Boston Herald and

God-Given Inspiration: Composer Merrill Jenson

Merrill Jenson
Merrill Jenson has been called the “John Williams” of Utah, but this sought-after composer is humble about his credentials, and candid about what makes him tick.

“I grew up in Richfield, Utah and there was…

Look Out Nashville! Here Comes Jan Buckingham

Jan and I backstage at the Grand Ole Opry
  Nashville didn’t see Jan Buckingham coming…

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Jan discovered her knack for writing when she wrote her first song, titled “Oh Sad…

Wendy Levy: The Career That Found Me

  Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing music supervisor Wendy Levy for Berklee College of Music's alumni blog. The following is a re-posting of the blog on Berklee Blogs.

  LAB: The Career That Found Me

Tim Nichols and One of the Best Workshops Ever!

Hit Songwriter Tim Nichols and Me   In the spring of 2005, I visited Nashville during spring break as a student with Berklee College of Music. There were incredible workshops each day from the best artists, producers, labels, musicians and…

Rhett Akins: Hit Writer, Small Town Swagger

Rhett Akins Sharing his Wisdom
After twenty years in the music industry in Nashville, there isn’t much that Rhett Akins hasn’t seen. He stopped by our recent Berklee College of Music alumni event (hosted by Eric Normand) to…

Pinch Me Moments with Michael Jay


Hit Songwriter and Producer Michael Jay
in his studio in LA

If you’re in the pop, R&B and dance music world, chances are you know Michael Jay.  After all, the LA-based producer/songwriter has penned some well-loved hits for…

My First CA Tour!

LA Women in Music Coordinator Phoebe Carter, host Harriet Schock and me at the
LAWiM Show at M Bar in Hollywood.

Now that was a trip!!! Here’s a brief look at what “went down” in…

3rd Sundays with Doak

You’ve probably heard of Tuesdays with Morrie, but if you’re a songwriter in Nashville, you’ve probably attended one of Doak Turner’s “3rd Sundays at 3:00” potluck jam sessions.

Doak and me
Doak has been hosting the event…

Billy Dean Brings Nashville to My Hometown!

Billy Dean and Me
  There’s nothing like the 4th of July in my hometown of Richfield, Utah. Everybody comes out for the parade and gathers at the park just off Main Street for food, music and games.…

Deric Ruttan and the Hit You Haven't Heard...Yet!

Deric and me at The Listening Room in Nashville
  One day about three years ago, I was sitting on my couch watching TV when I came across a 'Words and Music' interview Harry Chapman was doing with…

Some of My Favorite Tunes, Thanks to Rich Fagan

Rich Fagan and Me at the Commodore
  From "Be My Baby Tonight" (a number one hit for John Michael Montgomery), "Overnight Male" (recorded by George Strait) and "Only On Days that End in Y" (number five hit…

Rhett Akins and Eric Normand: The Nashville Experience

Nashville has made me a better songwriter.


Great songs and songwriters are everywhere and this town is good for me creatively. More than that, though, I came here to work at it and to learn from the…


Monty Parkey: Heard the call of Whisperin' Bill...

Recently Monty Parkey stopped by to play on a couple of tunes for my new album Stories Behind Songs. Monty has played keys for country music legends Whisperin' Bill Anderson and Alan Jackson, and he currently plays with Darryl…