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Music Journeys: Donna Mogavero

Aug 12, 2020

Credit Donna Mogavero

Donna Mogavero has been singing in Columbus and around Ohio for decades. She performs as part of CAPA's ApART Together series Thursday night. Mogavero also has new music coming out soon. Here on Music Journeys, she shares a couple new songs and explains what inspired her to record again. Mogavero also reflects on her Columbus history and takes part in our Fast Five song questions. Thanks for listening. 

The Streets Where I Live plays...

Donna Mogavero has been a part of the Columbus music scene for decades, even penning and singing this song to help promote the city. Now 62 and about to release her first album since 2002, wisdom and gratitude fill her soul.  

"You definitely get wiser with age," Mogavero said. "You discover what's really important in life. Did I have aspirations as a young girl to be a big rock star by now? Heck yeah, but I didn't let that stop me from enjoying performing for people right here in Columbus and the Ohio area. I've been travelling all over Ohio a lot the last few years, and it's been great. I still have people come up to me and say I've been in this town for 30 years and never heard of you. I say you can still get discovered. There is no end of the drive. You can still be discovered at 62." 

Vines plays…

Born in Columbus, Mogavero grew up in Worthington and caught the music bug at the age of 14.

"Right out of high school, I was in a band with a bunch of high school friends," Mogavero recalled. "We played the 16th Avenue ComFest. It was a big band, and it was a whole lot of fun. I went down to Athens to Ohio University and played music almost nightly down there. I stayed down there for four years, then we came back to Columbus and just started hitting the clubs. I could play out five, six nights a week just about anywhere. So I never had a day job, because I had a night job playing music."   

Cruel One plays…

"I think it just kind of rolled out that way," Mogavero said of recording her own songs. "The more encouragement you get from people (helps). I didn't start writing songs until well into the 80s. I had some time. Music was all I did. I just would incorporate every once in a while an original tune in the covers I was doing. People would remember the original songs and request more original material. That's kind of how that started, encouragement."   

Big Dreams Come True plays...

Mogavero released her first solo CD Acoustic in 1995. Out of the Nest followed in 1999 and LIVE in 2002. In March of last year, she launched a GoFundMe page to help record again.   

"To everything there is a season," Mogavero responded to what made now the right time to release new music. "Back in 2007-2008, I was in the studio and working on recording with the guys I played with way back then and my guitar player passed away. That halted everything for me. I did some demos and boy how time travels, it gets away from you. With this band now, I finally walked through the fear of going back in the studio. The GoFundMe happened, so I was able to come up with the funding to go back in and be confident with the songs and the players that are on the record. We started actually recording this about a year ago. I just feel like I have been divinely moved to put out another CD. I'm not going to say this is the last one. It could be. I don't know. I doubt it. Hopefully it won't be another 16 years, because I don't have that kind of time." 

End Of The Drive plays…

"The CD is called The End of the Drive," Mogavero said. "That's a song I wrote probably back in 2000 after I released Out of the Nest. That song was kind of a dedication to all the friends and fans that kept me going when I felt like giving up. Self doubt. I got tired. You have to be out there every night doing it. I felt like I just didn't have any momentum left. So those things roll through your mind. Obviously it didn't last long, that thought. These are songs that I'm just really proud of."     

Haven't You Heard plays...

"It's kind of a reflection on how you think you know what people are telling you, but you never really do," Mogavero said of the new song Haven't You Heard. "You try to trust people, and you find out you can't trust people. The world could use you now is one of the lines. There is another side, and to listen to people."

Made Her Cry plays…

"I did take two songs off my live album," Mogavero said. "The other one was Made Her Cry. It's a pretty powerful song, and I wanted to give it a full production. I guess I'm most proud that I did make a good career for myself in my hometown. I've played with some of the best musicians in this town. It's like we grew up here together. We lost a lot of our great friends and players in these years. I'm really thrilled to see Columbus is just a music market. There's something here for everybody, and I was a part of it." 

Haven plays...

"It's just something that I do," Mogavero said of music. "I think any artist will say that it's just in you. You have to do it. It's not a clock in, clock out job. When I'm out and about, I'm constantly thinking of songs. It keeps me centered. It's a spiritual path. I'm not the best, but I feel I have something to offer too. So I keep putting it out there. It keeps me young. It keeps me young, Mike." 

Like A Kid plays…

Donna Mogavero expects the new music to be released next month. She takes part in CAPA's ApART Together online concert series Thursday night at 7.