John Batdorf was 15 when he migrated west from Beavercreek with his rock band the Loved Ones in 1967. The folk-rocker recently left his longtime home of Los Angeles but he hasn’t stopped making music.
Batdorf — returning to the area for a show at Riff Raff Tavern on the Canal in Dayton on Wednesday, April 26 — recently answered some questions about his new home and his new solo album, “Next Stop, Willoughby.”
Q: What sparked the move to Oregon?
A: “My son had come up to Bend, which is in central Oregon. My wife and I had been thinking about getting out of Los Angeles and he told us how great it was here. We had been in L.A. our whole lives, and it’s crowded. We moved up here in August 2015 and we love it.”
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Q: What do you like best?
A: “This whole state is almost like a National Park. There are lot of outdoor activities and so much to see. You have the lush forest and the high dessert. The greatest thing about it is the whole state has less than 4 million people as opposed to the 10 million people in L.A. County. The traffic is a lot better. It’s the kind of place we used to go to on vacation.”
Q: When did you start work on the new album?
A: “I got my studio up pretty much right after we moved to Oregon. I had just finished my last record and I didn’t think it would happen so quickly, but songs were coming. Fifteen months later, I have a new CD.”
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Q: You did all the playing and singing on this album. What was the hardest part of that approach?
A: “It took a really long time. When you get a few people in the room to play or sing, you do a couple of passes and you get it done. It’s not like that when you work alone.”
Q: What’s the best part of working alone?
A: “I’ve done so much singing in my life so vocal arranging is one of my favorite things to do. It was really fun to have as much time as I wanted to come up with some really cool vocal parts and counter vocal parts. I didn’t use electric guitar on this. Instead of putting in riffs I wanted to put in more vocals than I normally do. It was a lot of work but, man, so cool to hear them back.”
“Next Stop, Willoughby” is available at iTunes, AirPlay Direct and www.johnbatdorfmusic.com.
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