Canadian singer-songwriter Larry R. Pegg, based in Ottawa, released a song on Monday titled Ogdensburg inspired by his experiences in the Maple City.
Following the suicide of his 20-year-old daughter in 2007, Mr. Pegg has used music to raise awareness about mental health issues and suicide prevention.
On a trip through Ogdensburg several years ago, Mr. Pegg was struck by an unexpected connection with the city.
In the songs lyrics, provided by Mr. Pegg, he sings, Youre holding me now I understand, insecurities can get out of hand. In border towns like Ogdensburg, and places that are never heard.
Ogdensburg to me represents small town America; theyve been crushed, he said, speaking of the economic difficulties in the region. Thousands of small towns have been suffering. It spoke to me. Because Im broken Ogdensburg is broken; we all want to be fixed.
Mr. Pegg said hes visited the city many times and always asked people how its going. I never get anything good, he said. If your town is hurting emotionally, economically, if you tell the story how it is, than the other people watching will respect that. I think politicians gloss it over, but every town has its warts. When you meet them head on I think you get better mileage.
The song is a love song, about border towns wherever they may be, and about small towns that are going through economic depression and the people in them, Mr. Pegg said. We all have insecurities, especially in love and in loss.
Ogdensburg is available to download, along with the first five songs of Mr. Peggs album Before and Afterlife: The Theory of Positivity – which will be released in full in September – on his website, www.lpgroove.ca.
The release is part of an effort on Mr. Peggs part to raise money to support mental health research and suicide prevention.
Mr. Pegg is donating a 50 percent of the proceeds from his pre-release album to support the cause
In addition to that, Mr. Pegg will donate 100 percent of the proceeds during World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10.
The full album will be a collection of 12 songs covering a range of topics and hitting on subjects like love, loss and the importance of reaching out to people around you for support.
When you write from the heart of loss it allows you to go into territory that is sacred, Mr. Pegg said. The message is extremely powerful; its valid.
The album will feature a variety of artists including New Orleans-based saxophonist Aaron Fletcher, who played with Stevie Wonder, and Lynn Miles, a Juno Award winning Canadian musician.