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…………..
This past week of May, I had the pleasure of returning to my home state of Ohio for some performances with James Stanley. We started our three day mini tour upstate in Kent and performed at a venue called Kent Stage which is a beautifully restored theater. We opened for Al Stewart and although the house was small, the audience was very receptive to us. I had the pleasure of meeting some really great folks that I have been e-mailing for years. It’s always nice to finally put a face to those e-mails.That night we drove south to perform live the next morning on the radio at WYSO which originates out of Antioch College. That seemed to go well and we headed out to Bellfontaine which is north out in the deep country. There is a house concert series that runs six times a year and what a joy that was. The performance happens on the second story of an old restored barn. What a cool place! There is no no sound system, which is my preference, and the intimate audience was fantastic. Many regulars were there as well as some of my family and friends. I must say, we played great and the audience really appreciated it. The wonderful hosts made us a great breakfast the next morning and we were off to Dayton Ohio’s Canal Street Tavern. Having grown up in the Dayton area, this was a special moment for me. The last time I played in Dayton was at Wright State with Mark and we opened fro Harry Chapin in 1976. I knew many family members and friends would be attending and the pressure was on! When I started the solo section of the set I said, ” Am I ever nervous. I know way too many people here!” The show could not have gone any better. We were great, the audience was great and what a trip it was to see some folks after all those years. My old band members, The Convoys, were there as well as most of the guys had ever been in bands with as a teenager. I had my sister and one of my brothers there and many other family members. I am so happy that we were able to come back here and play. There was so much love in that building that it was unbelievable. It almost felt like, ” John, This Is Your Life!” I will carry that memory with me wherever my life leads me next. Thanks!!!!