Published on April 5th, 2019 | by Guest Editor0
Tommy Botz – Teddy Bear
Locked Up In an Ohio Penitentiary, He Helped A Fellow Inmate Grieve Through Song. Now That Single and His Powerful Journey Come to Light
From his battle with alcoholism and living on the street to nearly 15 yrs of sobriety and finally realizing his dream to record his music – Songwriter Tommy Botz’s journey is one of hardship, compassion, and redemption. And through that journey has shined a heartbreaking yet beautiful ballad in “Teddy Bear”.
The powerful country song sang from the point of view of a grieving mother through the stunning work of a female vocalist Logan Wells is one that truly hit home for Tommy Botz, who wrote it for a fellow inmate while locked up in an Ohio penitentiary. “He knew that I wrote songs and came to my cell in tears one night because he just found out that his little girl had passed away” Says Botz, “His wife was losing her mind questioning her faith and he asked if i could write something for his daughter’s’ memory.”. That night he penned “Teddy Bear”, and though having never had children of his own he simply wrote from the heart. Quoting the great country singer-songwriter Hank Williams Sr., he says he believed “I hold the pen and GOD writes the words” which he hoped would help heal the pain of loss.
In recent reviews, Vents Magazine has said “The real treasure to be sought after in this track is its sterling lyrical content, the substance of which is derived from our songwriter’s exploration of his own relationship with youth, the concept of growing older and our own mortality, as well as a contemplative look at what it means to find wisdom in age.”. Indie Pulse has even called it “A moving, evocative country anthem in an era that has been plagued with inauthenticity and uninspired fodder from the Nashville establishment.”.
Tommy Botz has come a long way. Now sober for 14 ½ yrs, he’s lived in a halfway house after having “crawled through the doors on May 3rd 2004 of The Ed Keating Center a homeless drunk with nowhere to go”. There he met a kind old man named Jack Mulhall who told him that if he followed some direction he would never have to live like that again. “I wasn’t always a homeless drunk. I had dreams and goals like every young man has. I always loved country and gospel music.” says Botz, whose early interest lead him to become the lead singer in two bands – The Chevells and The Caesars 5 early in his music career, winning a Battle of the Bands and winding up with an RCA recording contract. But after the loss of their guitar player and their contract being pulled, Botz’s drinking got worse and soon penitentiaries became a way of life.
From broken marriages to lost jobs, no car, and no licence – living to drink and drinking to live became his routine. Finally, with several years of sobriety and working under his belt – he made the decision to go for his dream and finally record some of the over 200+ songs he had written over the years.
“One night while I was praying I heard in my heart – go for you dream and I will put someone in your life who believes in your music”, and after contacting Ante Up Studios owner Michael Seifert, the two began a collaboration that would become his 6-song EP “Family and Friends”.
Now, with “Teddy Bear” continuing to garner rave reviews and fans listening in on his incredible journey from the street to penning thoughtful and inspiring music – Tommy Botz’s story is certainly one of inspiration.
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