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Other Music:

Was, and Is, and Is to Come
Was and Is and Is To Come


Black and White Portrait


Hook, Line, and Singer

Stevens Pass
Stevens Pass (Hit Single)

 

 

Recollections

Recollections is a look through the lens of life. Each song is a musical snapshot of the styles, sounds, and moments in our lives that challenge our faith and force us to choose how we will crawl through, walk along, and sometimes soar over our path.

recollections

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This album is a collage of songs and experiences. Some are first hand, and others are... well, (as I'm writing this... I'm realizing I totally walked right into a one-armed guy pun)... so rather than call them "second hand" stories... There are several songs inspired by the lives and experiences of friends and family.


"Just One"
The album appropriately starts with "Just One." This is the newest song and was the inspiration behind the video of the same name. The song idea came from a lifetime of experiences starting with the very first label used to describe me, "Birth Defect." That was followed by a childhood of getting picked last on every playground team, a lifetime of stares, pity, name calling, assumptions, and mean spirited teasing and bullying from the time I was a kid even to adulthood where a coworker was so vicious with his words to me that he was fired.

I may have been branded as a "defect"... "incapable"... and (now musically as an "old guy" in his 40's)... "irrelevant," just to name a few... but I won't let those labels define who I am or limit what I'm capable of.

In fact.. I choose to flip those negatives into positives that fuel me to press on. I've also found that there are far more people out there that have invested in me, inspired me, guided, and supported me over the years than can even be counted. That combination drives me to push the false limits of my ability and dream bigger than my circumstances.

While visiting schools and speaking to hundreds of kids each year... they all ask, "how do you _____." You can almost see the gears in their head locking up as their two-handed minds can't even grasp how to accomplish everyday kid tasks like tying your shoes, zipping your coat, or riding a bike. Then when you tell them that you play the piano, drums, ride a mountain bike and a motorcycle, water ski, or play golf... their brains are completely wracked beyond the ability to even imagine how.

So I decided to try an experiment. I would try to write a song that captures the misconceptions we have about ourselves and others... the labels and assumptions that bind us, box us in, and put false limits on our potential.

I wanted to illustrate that as well... so I adapted ways to play the various 8 or so instruments... from the drums and keyboards to the guitars (acoustic, electric, classical, and bass) and more that I play with one hand and my hook. Of course, it couldn't be just the audio in this day and age... so I wanted to devise a way that I could get video of all the players (me, myself, I, and the rest of us... as many as 11 in total), on the same screen at the same time. I also wanted to illustrate the power of one in more ways than one... so I got creative with the camera and microphones and decided to design, direct, shoot, edit, record, mix and produce every element of the song and video single-handedly. (Ha-ha... very funny.)

I also added some video of this one-armed guy as a little kid with an amazing Mom & Dad who inspired me to live an unlimited life full of opportunities. They taught me that every one of us is created with value, purpose, and meaning.
That we're more capable than we imagine and by pushing the boundaries of our imagination... we can redefine the impossible.
(Vocals, trumpets, bass, harmonica, Hammond B3, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, classical guitar by Greg Otterholt.)
(music and lyrics by Greg Otterholt for Hook & Pan Productions.)


"You Can Bounce Back"
This is the second song on the album. You'll notice the theme of soaring like eagles here and at the end. Both are inspired by Isaiah 40. I wrote this to go with a video I produced for an organization called "Rebound." They do an amazing job of helping kids, parents, and whole families break free from the cycles of poverty, neglect, addiction and abuse. The song illustrates the triumph we were designed to have over our circumstances and that there's a way to rise above and conquer.
(Vocals, bass, keyboard, electric guitars, slide guitar by Greg Otterholt - additional "edge" guitar by Juan Plata.)
(music and lyrics by Greg Otterholt for Hook & Pan Productions.)

"Lead Me To You Today"
This song was just a simple prayer while I was sitting at the piano... to remind me each day to have ears to hear. To be quick to listen and slow to speak... but that the words I do speak would build up and encourage everyone I see. It's my desire to live intentionally and with purpose. This simply illustrates my aim to get re-focused and recharged each day.
(Vocal & piano by Greg Otterholt.)
(music and lyrics by Greg Otterholt for Hook & Pan Productions.)

"Are You Ready"
This is a fun gospel tune I wrote several years ago. Took forever to finally attempt to try and record the version I heard in my head. I was thinking BIG, soulful, and fun on this one. It has one of my favorite verses in it (Ephesians 3:20). Are You Ready?
(Vocals by Brenda Winters & Trina Bedlington - vocals, electric & acoustic guitar by Carlo Furlan - bass by Dave Coleburn -
drum, horn, organ production/playing, harmonica, and vocals by Greg Otterholt.)
(music and lyrics by Greg Otterholt for Hook & Pan Productions.)

"I Want Wisdom"
This tune was written from Philippians 4:8. I have always had a challenge remembering verses, so I just remember the letters: T.N.R.P - L.A.E.P.. Listen to the tune and see if you can figure out the words that go with each letter.
(All instrumental production and vocals by Greg Otterholt.)
(music and lyrics by Greg Otterholt for Hook & Pan Productions.)

"Without Love" (Amazing Grace)
I do this in concert a lot and have worked with gospel style choirs to perform this song as well. Took the words to Amazing Grace and added a few more fun verses of my own to give this classic rock tune new meaning. I play around with the titles of a few other hit songs by the legendary group that originally titled this tune "Long Train Running." See if you can figure out the other signature tunes mentioned in the song.
(Vocals, harmonica and production by Greg Ottertholt. Hype track and BG vocals Ryan Otterholt, Evan Otterholt, Eli Otterholt, Collin McDonell, and Brady McDonell.)
(Music by T. Johnston. Amazing Grace lyrics by John Newton. New lyrics by Greg Otterholt for Hook & Pan Productions.)


"If All Roads Lead to Heaven"
Imagine if you spent your whole life loafing along and tossing with the winds and ups and downs of pop culture theology. This tune starts with the clocks ticking... then time's up. Have we done the research? Do we know why we believe what we believe... or do we just ignore the issue until it's too late. It's a little reminiscent of the rich man in Luke 16. Will living a fairy tale "Santa Clause is Coming to Town" sort of spirituality cut it... to just "be good for goodness sake?" They say there's a road that's paved with good intentions.
(Vocals and SFX production by Greg Otterholt. Guitar and music production by Brian Cunningham.)
(music and lyrics by Greg Otterholt for Hook & Pan Productions.)

"Hold On"
This tune takes you through some monumental snapshots of a man's life. All three are events that occur at the hospital. We first see him as a soon to be Dad comforting his wife as they're expecting their baby any moment. Fast forward several years and the next time we see them, the Man is in the hospital fighting for his life. We then get one more visit with him at the hospital. Why the tears? You'll have to listen to the song to hear how the story ends.
(Vocals by Greg Otterholt. All guitars, mandolin, bass and music production by Brian Cunningham.)
(music and lyrics by Greg Otterholt for Hook & Pan Productions.)

"Lay Down This World"
An accappella and harmonica song based on an old Spiritual song. The original author is unknown, but it's been passed down generation to generation. This was one of the very first songs I recorded for my very first demo album and I decided to remaster it for this latest one. You'll notice that the opening harmonica part is a reprise that I repeated in the opening of "Are You Ready" as a nostalgic tribute to the first harmonica tune I learned to play.
(Vocals and harmonica by Greg Otterholt)
(old spiritual)

"Fraid Not"
Fear can cripple us and paralyze our ability to live the lives God intended. It tries to box us in and bind us up... but, "perfect love casts out fear." 1st John 4:18 and Isaiah 41:10 are great inspiration for this. It was a demo recording for my band... but I love the raw bluesyness of it and the screaming guitar solo by Ed Pears.
(Vocals by Greg Otterholt. Guitars by Ed Pears. Bass by Dave Coleburn. Drums: Rick Sloot.)
(music and lyrics by Greg Otterholt for Hook & Pan Productions.)

"Color My World"
A cover tune by the great band, Chicago. My Dad learned to play this tune on the piano in our garage when I was a little kid. I would sit out there and listen to him all the time. It's from Chicago II and I believe we wore two of those tapes out over the years as one of our all time favorite family road trip albums. I decided to try and learn to play it myself and then added 4 trumpet parts for the solo, bass, high hat, snare... and since I didn't have an actual drum kit at the time (mid 90's), I tapped my foot on the base of the mic stand to emulate a Kick drum. Gotta love improvisation.
(Vocals, trumpets, bass, drums by Greg Otterholt.)
(Additional trumpet arrangement by Greg Otterholt.)
(music and lyrics by James Pankow - Warner-Tamerlane pub corp.)

"Sharing the View"
Had a friend who's young son battled a life threatening illness and was taken much too early in life. Then it sadly happened again to another friend. This shares just a glimpse of the spiritual and emotional tug of war through such a tragedy... and the dreams for reuniting after this life.
(Vocals by Greg Otterholt. Piano by Sam Middlebrook. Violins by Vincent Buys. Bass by Steve Barnes.)
(music and lyrics by Greg Otterholt for Hook & Pan Productions.)

"Wings Like Eagles" (Isaiah 40)
This theme is seen throughout this album. I originally wrote the song in college while our band was recording an album at the Fairhaven Studio at WWU. We had space for a short song at the end of the album... so I took my Bible in to the echo chamber of the boys bathroom and made up a melody to one of my favorite sections of scripture. Also recorded it on my first solo album... and still thought it could be improved. Had the opportunity to sing it in Israel and then decided to record it again a few years ago. The performance pales in comparison to the promise.
(Vocals by Greg Otterholt. Keyboard by Roy Salmond.)
(music and lyrics by Greg Otterholt for Hook & Pan Productions.)

This album covers an amazing 20 years of recording. I can't believe how fast the time has flown by. Thank you to everyone who has played a part in this music and this amazing journey! Thank you to my wife and boys for enduring the noise, the hours spent in the studio, and for the inspiration and encouragement to keep making music. Thank you to my parents and all the rest of my family and friends who have been so supportive over the years!

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine..."
May God bless you in ways you may never have conceived of or thought possible!

Sincerely,

Greg

 

 
   
 
 
   

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