Almost Paradise. 15 songs. Released February 2008. Featuring the songs of Tim Otto. It was October 1980: before the internet, MTV, personal computers, and even before CD's and, for the lack of anything better to do, I walked into my favorite hangout and ended up with a lifelong friendship. Soon after ordering a beer, a young songwriter named Tim Otto took to the stage. He looked a bit like another musician I had worked with, and he sounded a lot like me. His songwriting impressed me then as it still does today. His songs had a "wiser than his years" quality to them. The best example is on this album. "Old Memories" is a song you would expect would be written by someone over the age of 50. Tim wrote it when he was in his 20's. Over the years we've worked on a number of projects together: The first was as a duo on the northwest bar circuit for several years which culminated in the recording of the "Heroes Of The West" album in 1983, after which Tim took off for New Mexico to work with producer Norman Petty. Mr. Petty was impressed enough with the album that he signed Tim to a publishing contract. Tim came back to Portland in 1984 after the tragic death of Mr. Petty, and the old duo became the basis of what would become "The Surf Cowboys," one of the top bands in Portland in the mid 80's. Many years later, Tim and I got together to co-produce an album of the material that The Surf Cowboys had recorded, but had never released. The album was released in 2002, kicked off by a reunion gig. Our next project was "The Peacemakers Band" in 2003. It was a studio project called "Goodbye Free Love" and was recorded as a tribute to the music of the 1960's. This was a project that was free from any monetary or commercial pressure and may have been our most creative project. We had a lot of fun working on it, and it's still one of my favorite albums. (A second Peacemakers Band album was released in 2009) And that brings me to our current project. This album. When I built my recording studio in 2002, I had three main goals. I wanted to record all of my own songs, produce other musician's projects, and record an album of Tim Otto songs. The first goal has been realized, the second is on-going, and the third is this album. Tim has a catalogue of more than 200 songs. Many have been released by other bands, and on his own solo albums, but the 15 songs on this album have never been released anywhere before. I want everyone to know that the songs on this album were personally chosen by me because they were songs that I connected with on an emotional level. I'm sure you will enjoy them, too. Thanks for listening. Chris Charles Recorded at Twang Music Studios. Mastering by Jon Lindahl at Fresh Tracks Studio. All songs written by Tim Otto and Published by Almost Paradise Music, BMI. All songs arranged, produced and performed by Chris Charles. Associate Producer: Tim Otto. All instruments and vocals: Chris Charles Cover art by: Damon Law Sound Recording Copyright 2008 Twang Music.
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