Artist: David Ostrosser (53) David Nelson Ostrosser
Release Title: SECOND HAND STORE
Born : Chatham Kent Ontario
Resides: Gatineau, Quebec Canada
Notes: The CD contains 12 original songs, most in an Americana or roots country vein, although there are a few crossover pop surprises and one French-language number. There’s also a fun dance remix of the title tune. The sessions for this album have seen the cream of the Ottawa Valley’s country and roots musicians populate its tracks. Steel player Al Bragg has played with Carol Baker, the Family Brown, Terry Carisse and South Mountain and he puts down some unbelievable tracks on David’s album, while Ball and Chain’s Michael Ball does a masterful job of accompanying him on the violin. Contemporary folk artist Christine Graves adds harmonies and various Ottawa Folklore Centre alumni colour the album with all manner of guitars: resonator (dobro), baritone, electric and acoustic. Each production choice of the artist and of co-producer René Gely (including string arrangements featuring classical musicians) seemed to raise the quality bar ever-higher.
Bio: David Nelson Ostrosser was born August 2, 1955 in Chatham, Ontario, Canada. His parents, fervent evangelical Christians, were both active in gospel music from and early age, and David’s father Robert travelled extensively with the musical Rutledge brothers, brothers-in-law of weepy Canadian evangelistic television host David Mainse. In 1960, David’s family moved to Australia with other members of his father’s singing group, where they help to establish a novel (at that time) youth camp with a cowboy-style, horse-centred theme.
Followed a return to Canada where the older Ostrosser was a part of several other ranch camp ministries, both in Ontario and in British Columbia. After a series of moves that saw David change primary schools seven times in seven years, the family settled down in Mission, British Columbia, where David first started writing songs and playing music.
After starting out on trumpet at 11 years of age, David switched to drums, at 16 backing first country singers, and then a blues band fronted by a pub singer from England named Steve Caller. Itching to go on the road playing music full-time at this point, David switched to piano and took over on lead vocals. The band travelled around B. C. and to the Yukon, and did several house stints in seedy Vancouver bars in the city’s infamous Downtown Eastside, notably at a club called Fort Boogie, where they would do four sets before a bizarre crowd of junkies and homeless drunks, while naked go-go dancers gyrated on each side of the stage.
Following the evaporation of the high hopes of that first creative musical unit, David tried his luck in Toronto for a while, then returned to B. C., playing in countless bar band and duo collaborations and travelling throughout Western Canada, from Ft. Simpson in the Northwest Territories to Neepawa, Manitoba.
David produced a couple of singles in the 1980s, including “Check-Out Baby, Don’t Check Out On Me”, a whimsical creation that received respectable airplay for an independent record in those dying days of the vinyl format.
A growing interest in Quebec music and literature prompted a cross-Canada move, and David began a new musical career in Hull, Quebec, in the early nineties, hooking up with two other local musicians for a house gig in a bar just off the notorious Hull Strip (since cleaned up). It was light years away from the music of Harmonium and the glory days of Quebecois “Peace and Love” of the mid-seventies, and the engagement came to an abrupt end when a half-dozen police raided the club and came onstage to arrest the drummer.
After an interval away from music during which he went back to school to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Translation, started a family and generally settled down for good, David was inspired to write a half-dozen new songs and combine them with a number of older originals and record them with the help of Gatineau producer René Gely. The result is Second Hand Store, an LP-length collection of country and americana originals that bears witness to David’s affection for the vinyl medium.
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