A Very Worthy Cause

This past Saturday, the 26th of August, I performed with Michael McLean at a fund raiser for the Pond family in Rexburg, Idaho. The event was put together by Geoff Pond and Shaun Bills for Matt Pond and his lovely wife and three beautiful little children. Back in the early nineties, I was fortunate to be asked by Michael McLean to perform in Idaho with the Pond brothers who were a local vocal trio consisting of Geoff, Dana, and Matt. They had a little venue in Idaho Falls where for the price of a ticket, you could get a great barbecue and a musical performance by the Pond Brothers who just happen to be three of fourteen children. The Ponds who had met Michael a year earlier asked us to come up and join them and we did. We had a great time that night and went fishing on the Snake River the next day. At the show, I was struck by a touching original song Matt had written for his brother, Ron, who had died the year before of cancer. They recorded the song on their Montana Sunrise CD which I participated in as a singer and songwriter and had a great time hanging with the guys. I returned to Idaho a few more times to perform and fish and every time I went there, the Pond’s have always treated my family and myself as nicely as anyone has ever done before. A few months ago Michael McLean called me and shared some terrible news about Matt Pond. Seems he wasn’t feeling right and went to the doctor only to get the worst news you could ever want to hear. He had a malignant brain tumor that had to be removed and no one knew until the surgery whether he would survive or not. Well he survived the operation but not without some complications. He has trouble speaking and remembering things but is showing some progress. Matt is still receiving heavy doses of meds and radiation five days a week. As with many folks in our great country, his insurance did not cover everything and thus the fund raiser was put together which was organized through the Bills Family Memorial Foundation. There was a great turnout and the true highlight of the show was when Geoff, Dana and Matt sang together for the first time in a long while. Matt’s five year old son practiced with him over and over until Matt could sing the song and he did just fantastic! We all hope and pray that Matt beats this thing but they will continue to need help in the future. If you can find it within your heart to give, you can go to the website below and make a donation. They are truly a great deserving family and are just hoping for a chance to get through this!
Thanks,
John

http://www.bfmf.org/Matt%20Pond/mattpondmain.htm

Heading towards Autumn

Here it is mid August and we are heading for one of my favorite seasons, fall. After a scorching summer it’s nice to have the air cool down somewhat. It is my favorite time to fish! The big browns are on the move and I plan to slow a few of them down if only temporarily. I am also into my fourth month of working on my new CD. It is finally coming together with six new songs having lead vocals and many acoustic guitar tracks. After returning to the road and performing again, my song writing perspective has changed a bit. When I did my first solo EP, Side One, I had been working on that CD before I ever got involved with James Lee Stanley and the CD, All Wood And Stones. I am again realizing just how powerful a great song, great vocal and slammin’ acoustic guitar can be. I am very pleased with the new Batdorf/McLean collaborations and I think anyone that has enjoyed our previous works will really appreciate the metamorphosis that has taken place. I am adding background vocals as we speak with George Merrill and Bill Batsone who happen to be two of my favorite singers on this planet as well as anxiously awaiting Mark Rodney’s LA trip so we can redo the likes of Home Again, Ain’t It Like Home, Is It Love and possibly, Can You See Him. Realistically, the CD won’t be done until January but I am working as fast as I can and will put up examples of the work when it is done. I honestly believe that this is my best work. I guess I am just a late bloomer…………..