I was attending BYU, majoring in Broadcast Journalism and on the side kept writing music. This time, my writing was more directed towards specific experiences in life.
Writing-wise, this is my favorite album. For example, read the story behind the title song Higher Ground.
The Album was released early 1987 and was arranged & produced by the talented Roger Hoffman. Not only did Roger’s producing skills shine on this album, but his back-up vocal arrangements would literally become a powerful trademark. He was so much fun to watch in action behind the scenes in the recording studio.
This album starts out fun and upbeat…so let’s get right to it!
Track 1: Higher Ground
I heard a quote in Sunday School that impacted me and I went straight home and wrote the song. The quote is from LDS President Harold B. Lee “You can not lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is. You must be sure, if you would rescue the man, that you yourself are setting the example of what you would have him be.”
Track 2: I’ll Play For You My Brother
I had met a man on my mission who lived alone. My first visit with him, I saw he had a baby grand piano. I asked to play it. After playing for about 15 minutes or so, I turned to speak with George about the piano. George, with tears in his eyes, explained that he had bought the piano years ago for his son. George would go into the room and sit and listen to his son play. Not much later, George’s son passed away. For years, George longed to hear music again from that piano. As we were leaving, George asked if I would return and play for him. Of course, I did so nearly every week while living in his town. Each time I showed up at his door, George would smile and say “You’re here to play!” George would quickly go and get the piano ready. Not long after my mission, I learned of George’s death. And so this song was written and dedicated to my friend George Steurewald, reflecting back on those moments of sharing my time and talents with a man who longed to hear his son playing the piano again.
Track 3: Celebrate His Birth
My BYU room mate and dear friend Ken Malquist wrote the lyrics. He wanted to write a message about why we celebrate Jesus Christ and His birthday at Christmas. Once he wrote these words, I added music. Ken, also talented in music and entertainment, got LDS singer/songwriter Steven Kapp Perry to sing duet with me on this song. What a great time collaborating, producing, & recording a song with one of my best friends. Ken, btw, is now a high up director of entertainment at Disney World in Orlando. Steven Kapp Perry continues to write/produce great music and hosts a popular Christian Music radio show in Utah.
Track 4: Stay Awhile
Nice simple song about having the Savior there to pick me up, hold my hand through some difficult times. I always enjoyed singing this song live, cause I could easily sing these words from the heart.
Track 5: Help Me To Slow Down
One of my all-time favorites! My sister Geri was attending law school and wrote these words during some difficult times. I added music. What a great message to everyone! Slow Down and take a good look around and see all the things He’s given us! Of course, Geri sings duet with me on this song. Not only is the message strong, but the music slowly builds throughout the song and finally, the climatic end with large back up vocals and music. I simply love everything about this song.
Miracle? You decide. Christmas break from college. I had scheduled a recording studio in Louisville so that my sisters and I could record our lead vocal parts. However, for the first time in my life, I got laryngitis. When I arrived home, sister Geri had also gotten laryngitis. It was only 3 days away from recording our lead vocals to this song. Through the priesthood authority of our dad, he laid his hands on our heads and gave us a blessing of healing. I’ll never forget having partial voice return the next day, then the day of recording, our voices were about 50%, but when we stepped up to the recording mics later that day, well you be the judge. Take a listen
Track 6: It’s A New Way
I have met some people who have great difficulty in life because of some choices they have made. Sadly, they are somewhat afraid (or embarrassed) to seek help. This song is mainly a message to them and to everyone else that if we seek our Savior’s love and His guidance, then true happiness can be achieved.
Track 7: You’ll Be There
My Mother loved reading her Bible and while I was writing songs for this album, she mentioned how Psalms were songs! I began to read through there and came across Psalm 61. “You’ll Be there” comes from this scripture. Another song directed towards our Savior and how He’s always there for us.
Track 8: Together Forever
This features both my sisters Gay & Geri. Growing up, the three of us sang everywhere. Church, weddings, funerals, talent shows, etc. This song I wrote reflects back on those years of music in our home. After many years apart, this song brought us back together again, to sing that Grigsby harmony.
Track 9: Look Up
This one, no doubt, was written during some tough times in life. I don’t recall anything specific that sparked this song, but I do know the emotions were real and came out through pen, paper and piano.
Listen to Entire Album Straight Through Here
Produced & Arranged By: Roger Hoffman Music & Lyrics: Pete Grigsby Except for “Celebrate His Birth” – Lyrics by Ken Malquist “Help Me To Slow Down” – Lyrics by Geri Grigsby All songs recorded and mixed at Rosewood Recording Studios in Provo, Ut Additional Lead Vocals recorded at Allen-Martin Productions in Louisville, Ky Recording Engineers: Guy Randle, Mark Hoffman, Vince Emmett & Tim Haertel Additional Lead Vocals: Steven Kapp Perry “Celebrate His Birth”, Geri Grigsby “Help Me To Slow Down”, Gay Majakey & Geri Grigsby “Together Forever” Back Up Vocalists: Roger Hoffman, Kent Braddy, Felicia Sorensen, Lezlee Stoker, Barry Gibbons, Janine Lindsay, Jennifer Sherwood, Kristen Randle & Pete Grigsby Musicians: Bass: Jim Stout; Drums: Don Fyffe Jr.;Keyboards: Randy Kartchner & Pete Grigsby Guitars: Ron Saltmarsh & Rich Gibbons