The Stones, Batdorf and Stanley-style

April 04, 2013|By Michael Miller
  • John Batdorf and James Lee Stanley will perform "All Woods and Stones" on the radio in Laguna Beach this weekend.
John Batdorf and James Lee Stanley will perform "All…

John Batdorf and James Lee Stanley will appear on the radio Saturday in Laguna Beach to play mellow, harmony-drenched folk tunes — the kind you listen to on a lazy afternoon with a sweater, a cup of mocha and a cat napping at the foot of the couch.

Among the possible repertoire: "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "19th Nervous Breakdown," "Get Off of My Cloud" and other quaint standards like that.

In 2005, Batdorf and Stanley released "All Wood and Stones," a collection of Rolling Stones songs performed in tight-harmony style. (The "Wood" in the title refers to an acoustic guitar, not to Stones guitarist Ron Wood.) This year, the duo will be back with "All Wood and Stones II," in which 10 more Jagger-Richards compositions get the treatment.

The intent of the project, Batdorf said, is to honor two underappreciated songwriters in a highly appreciated band.

"They're really not presented as singer-songwriter guys," he said. "But the craft between Keith and Mick, when they were competing with the Beatles for pop stuff — those are just fantastic songs."


The duo will perform songs from both "All Wood and Stones" discs from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday on KX 93.5's "The Friendship Show." Co-host Scott Hays, who has known Batdorf since the 1970s and once worked with him on a charity project for the homeless, said most of the show will be dedicated to the Stones material, with Batdorf and Stanley each performing brief solo sets.

The website for the "All Wood and Stones" project asks on its home page, "Can you imagine what the Rolling Stones songs would have sounded like if Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were California boys with acoustic guitars?" That's only partly a fantasy; while the Stones' chief songwriters may have grown up an ocean away from Jackson Browne, they've often balanced their harder rock with radio-friendly pop.

Considering their original versions, songs like "Wild Horses," "Ruby Tuesday" and "As Tears Go By" hardly sound jarring in coffeehouse style. Some of the more uptempo numbers, though, demanded a heavier sound even without electric riffs; Batdorf and Stanley, who used minimal percussion on the first album, went ahead and enlisted drums this time.

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