As John said to me yesterday - when I went to his studio to listen to 10 out of 12 new songs that he is working on for his new CD - the finances of our country and our world are pretty much shaken to its roots and people are only spending when they have to. As we all know - it's not going to get better before it hits rock bottom and then it can only go up from there.
BUT. There is music. And where there is music, there is hope and inspiration. Music is one of those aids that buoys us up from rock bottom and holds us there till there is hope on the horizon.
It is - and always has been - music that has lifted our spirits and inspired us to keep our head above water to move forward and get us through our days. This is actually truer for me, who discovered Johns' music right after ALL WOOD AND STONES was released. "I Will Not Be Afraid" and "It's Not Heavy" are still at the top of my list of favorite JB songs. Both of those songs got me through some pretty rough times, and still do so to this day.
With that said - after having listened to the rough cuts (i.e. Johns' vocals and guitars are all recorded and each song awaits further "outside" work) of these 10 songs - I am literally blown away. No, seriously. Most of you have heard me say this before with each of Johns' previous CD's in recent years. But I mean it now more than ever. This CD comes completely and totally from John; a good percentage of the lyrics, the ideas for the songs, the music, thoughts, and opinions. Oh, yes - opinions. In this record John bares his soul and his thoughts via his music. Johns' music has always been cutting edge; he has always sought to create new and innovative (and difficult to play live) guitar licks, but he has surpassed himself yet once more ... I think this record is a culmination of everything he has experienced and learned via the music industry since his own beginnings. While the songs he wrote as a 16-17-18-19 year-old were brilliant and cutting-edge for someone so young (and each of those songs still hold water -- for us as his fans and John as the musician/creator -- to this day) -- these new songs give a whole new meaning to the phrase "cutting edge" and could only have been written from his point-of-view today. The songs are not written from the point of view of someone who knew without really knowing and hit the nail on the head -- that was the brilliance of the young John Batdorf in the 1970s ... THESE songs are written from the point of view of the John Batdorf in 2008 and 2009 - who has spent his life doing what he loves and is writing about it from this end of the spectrum, from the point of view of someone who has lived and loved and worked hard and is here to sing about it. All the songs are full of knowledge and conviction and truth as well as love and inspiration and survival.
All of you here are going to LOVE this CD -- from how he plays it to how he sings it to what he has to say. There are love songs because one thing that Johns' music has always been about right from the get-go, is love. And these love songs speak about love in a way he hasn't spoken about it before. Two of the songs give me goose bumps every time I hear them and both of them should really be love themes for some grand big screen big budget movies. There's comedy on this record, there's comments on this record and there's loads of inspiration; inspiration being the other thing that Johns' music has always been about.
There's one song on this record that I once heard - accidentally - about 2 years ago. It was an early version but the minute I heard it, I burst into tears and it has done the same to me ever since, in whatever form I've heard it. It will finally be released to Johns' listening public on this CD and it, too, is a VERY powerful song (and I'm speaking from memory since it's not one of the 10 I heard today). In point of fact - every song on this CD is very powerful - and there's one song that's hit-material: it's got a riff that will knock your boots off, it's opinionated without insulting anyone, it's catchy, it's a love song, and it's powerfully strong!
EVERY song on this CD is a very powerful song whether it's inspirational, thought-provoking, or about love. Every song is pure John Batdorf in his vocals, in his music, in his riffs, in the little things he adds to a song ... and there are parts still to be added. But with Johns' blessing, I wanted to let you - Johns' core fans - know about the impending release of this CD now - to whet your musical appetite for it - to give you something to wait for - to cheer John on while he works on it further - to tell everyone you know who might appreciate it - to think of ways to help us get this one heard by an even wider public than ever before. THIS CD is Johns' next level...
Please know that what you are waiting for? Is pure cutting-edge John Batdorf, as you HAVE heard him before and as you have NEVER heard him before.
-Jeanette Lundgren, 2/13/09
Mother Hen Promotions