Ostensoe’s music colored by local environment, experiences and people
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If you want to know the difference between a musician like Jerry Ostensoe and that typically heard on the radio today––it’s that one represents an exaltation of the spirit while the other, the ego.
And so it seemed fitting Saturday to see a crowd of 100 seated at the former church turned residence and music venue of City Councilman Sarina Otaibi during a CD-release concert for Ostensoe’s third album to date, “Whatever’s Left of the Day.”
“It was a nice turnout, the band was great and I felt like I sang well,” said Ostensoe. “It’s hard to get everybody together with everyone so busy these days. So I was just appreciative that everybody showed up.”
A Canby native and resident of Granite Falls as of 1960, Ostensoe has served a unique, authentic voice of the prairie for nearly 50 years––a guitar planted firmly in his hands since age seven.
His newest CD constitutes the next step in the evolution of his music, representing a new level of polish, harmony and spirit expression that dovetails seemlessly off his two preceding albums, “The Barns are Still Ringing and “Just East of West.”
Truly a work of passion, each component of the CD is painstakingly poured over to ensure that everything from the lyrics to the photo album cover are representative of a larger holistic expression of Ostensoe’s heart and soul.
Defined by circumstances unique to this time and place, everything from his time on the railroad to that spent with his mother who passed away last June, have served to influence the body of work with layer upon layer of re-emerging themes embodying life, love, time and trains.
“It all blends together. You get a certain look at life where everyone and everything is apart of it,” said Ostensoe. “Music’s pretty personal, you know. If I had wanted to please the masses I would have done something different.”
Reaching that sort of depth within oneself is highly intensive process, and it belies Ostensoe’s easy going appearance and demeanor while giving credit to the concept that still waters run deep. “Recording is an intense personal experience. You can’t do something like this and not have it change you,” he said. “I just hope people give it an honest listen. It’s not one of those that you want to put on and start vacuuming.
Interestingly, some 50 years earlier, Ostensoe, had found himself in Otaibi’s music venue as a boyscout when it was still operating as church, and it becomes funny in hindsight how lives and locations come full circle revealing all sorts of synchronicities.
How those layers will ebb and flow with time going forward, Ostensoe doesn’t know. But as they occur you can be certain that they will be recognized by his keen eye, appreciated within his heart and transformed into his song by his musical passion.
“It’s been a lifelong thing and it’s been a good deal, cause it turns out there’s a lot of hours in the day and it’s good to have something to entertain yourself with,” said Ostensoe, adding: I’m just happy some other are entertained by it too.”
“Whatever’s Left of the Day,” is available at the Granite Grinder, Advocate Tribune, Frogs on the Foot Bridge and the K.K. Berge Building. A fourth CD by Ostensoe is out there sometime on the horizon.