Entertainment Local

One year after debut album release, Gregger Botting continues to find inspiration

By Melissa Schilz, Postmedia Network

Gregger Botting, originally from Chatham, now calls Petrolia home. It’s been one year since he released his debut album, ‘Never Saw a Thing Coming’. (Photo provided)

Gregger Botting, originally from Chatham, now calls Petrolia home. It’s been one year since he released his debut album, ‘Never Saw a Thing Coming’. (Photo provided)

Gregger Botting has long been a music fan; he first started playing guitar when he was in high school and has fond memories of listening to classic rock and oldies with his father.


“When you get into grade nine and you’re looking to be cool, you gotta do something,” he laughed.


It’s now been one year since the singer songwriter released his debut album, ‘Never Saw a Thing Coming’ with DNA Media in Sarnia. The cover art features recognizable Petrolia buildings near the Farmer’s Market.


Botting said the recording process saw him collaborate with a number of other local artists like Tim Tanner of Funk Eh! playing drums and Brian Doherty from Big Wreck who played the mandolin. He went from playing his songs around a campfire to having a full band behind him in the studio.


“Hearing the way the songs turned out with full production, with drums, bass guitar…it really livened things up and made it radio friendly,” he said.


Botting grew up in Chatham but moved to Petrolia about seven years ago. Growing up, he was a fan of Detroit FM radio; he says the music he heard on the radio was a major inspiration for him, and a driving force behind his folk, roots-rock and Americana style today.


“You get your Motown, Bob Seger and a lot of other cool stuff,” he said. “104.3…the oldies…my dad always had that on.”


Botting began writing his own music about 10 years ago, and says his first real churning out of songs that make up his debut record began in 2011. He said it was life experiences, including some difficult ones, that fueled the fire behind his creativity.


Botting said there’s something about the sadness in life that can spark inventiveness, making the ink flow from the pen faster and with more intensity. For him, writing became an emotional outlet.


“It’s a therapy,” he said. “You don’t contemplate life when you’re in it and when life is good, but when you’re in the dark, you really start looking at everything.”


A year after the release of his album, Botting said his live performances as a musician have been strengthened. He’s played at a number of venues in southwestern Ontario, including the London Music Club. Botting was also a top five finalist in 2016 in the Canada South Songwriting Contest, which led him to play at the Kingsville Folk Music Festival.


He’s even managed to acquire international fans through the power of social media, including one in Holland who he’s corresponded with.


Botting said he hasn’t stopped writing since his debut album release, and he hopes to release a second album in the future. He also has his sights set on a publishing deal, with the hopes of writing music for other artists.


Botting attends The Open Stage at the Lawrence House regularly to play. He has an upcoming performance Feb. 17 in Chatham at Sam’s Percolator. To hear Botting’s music, visit www.greggerbotting.com.