John Batdorf and James Lees Stanley (from the album All Wood and Stones II) - James Lee Stanley always goes to wood when he reworks, reinvents and completely recreates the music of other artists, usually classic rock icons.On All Wood and Stones II, recorded with John Batdorf, James and John wear the skin of lead singers and players on Rolling Stones classics. The album takes the songs of Mick and Keith and presents them as new versions. On a strictly personal side, it is great to hear songs of The Rolling Stones in a way that highlights, and slows down the story line for general consumption.
The Rolling Stones join the ranks of many classic rock artists with songs that are so much a part of our culture, of our lives, the songwriting is often ignored or watered down from repeated listening. The songs become too familiar. James Lee Stanley and John Batdorf have transformed the material, and given the tunes a new life. All Wood and Stones II is a folk circle for the disco hit ”Missing You” and “Get Off My Cloud” offers its story of consumerism in a high rise with a folk/rock foundation.
James Lee Stanley provided some back story for classic songs and his re-workings in wood, “Several years ago at a wedding I found myself on the stage with two other songwriters and, realizing we only knew our own songs, we chose to sing an old favorite “Ruby Tuesday”. We did it on the fly with one acoustic guitar and three part harmony and the wedding party went crazy. They LOVED it. On the way home I said to my wife, ‘you know I don’t think anyone has ever heard the Rolling Stones songs done like that and I suspect they’d like it’.
I contacted a fellow musician that I had always admired and asked John Batdorf if he wanted to do a CD of this music. He jumped on board and being the pro he is, showed up utterly prepared with arrangement ideas, new strings on his Martin and in voice. We went through the Stones catalog chose the songs we thought we could bring something new to and proceeded to record “All Wood and Stones”. We tried to imagine these songs as though they had been written by us in southern California instead of England. Then last year, while John and I were on the road doing our yearly All Wood and Stones, we got to talking and decided we wanted to do a second volume of classic Stones song. All Wood and Stones II was born. This time we decided to have no other guest artists on it, just John and I on guitars and vocals, our two favorite bass players, Chad Watson and Bill Batstone and the wonderful Tom Walsh on drums.”