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McLaughlin revisiting ‘Indiana’ for Clyde show

Anderson native plans to play debut album in its entirety on Nov. 12

Jon McLaughlin will be at The Clyde on Nov. 12.

Chris Hupe

Whatzup Features Writer

Published October 26, 2022

Raised in Anderson, Jon McLaughlin has been attracting fans with his heartfelt, hook-laden songwriting and impassioned delivery since his 2007 album, Indiana

He is returning to the road to celebrate the 15th anniversary of that album, making a stop at The Clyde Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 12, to perform it in its entirety with a full band.

recording debut album

Though he had recorded an album while attending Anderson University, Indiana was McLaughlin’s major label debut on Island Records and put him on the national map, largely due to the success of the first single “Beautiful Disaster.” 

That song rose to No. 28 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart and was featured in the 2007 movie Georgia Rule and the TV series A Little Thing Called Life

The second single, “Human,” found some success as well, as it was featured on TV shows Scrubs, Flashpoint, and Ghost Whisperer.

“We actually started recording that album in 2005, which is insane to think about,” McLaughlin told Whatzup. “I had been writing with this guy named Jamie Houston out in Venice (California), and the first day we met, we wrote what then became the first single, ‘Beautiful Disaster.’ ”

McLaughlin said he spent the end of 2005 and most of 2006 recording Indiana, which is “definitely the longest that I’ve ever spent in the studio on a record,” but he wanted it make sure it was perfect before it hit store shelves. 

“At the very end, we were ‘done’ with the record, but we thought there were six or seven songs that would be amazing if we put full strings on them,” he said. 

The album was already a little over budget, and they estimated the cost of adding the strings to be around $80,000, which seemed like a lot, but they asked the label anyway. To his surprise, the executives at label said OK. 

“We were like, we said, ‘Eighty grand,’ and they were like, ‘Yeah.’ ” he said. “So, we got this full string section. I’m so glad we did it because the strings on this record sound incredible.”

new songs on reissue

Indiana was reissued recently in digital form, with CD and vinyl offerings to come. The reissue includes two more songs that were recorded during the Indiana sessions but not included on the original release. 

“Far From Home” is one that McLaughlin said he always felt should have been on the album, “but didn’t make it for some reason.”

He’s played the song live, but this is the first time it has had an official release. Also included on the reissue are “Proud Father” and an a capella version of the title track, with help from Straight No Chaser.

Naming his debut album after his home state was a decision McLaughlin said he is glad he made. 

“At the time, I was actually leaving Indiana,” he said. “I grew up there and went to college there, but the plan was always to sign a record deal and go.”

His goal was to move to a tour bus so he could just performing across the country. 

“At the time, that’s kind of what we were doing,” he said. ““We spent most of 2007 on the bus touring. I think you just naturally look back a little bit and start seeing home in a different way and in a way that you can’t see until you leave. I just have this real appreciation for Indiana and real love for Indiana, so it felt right to honor it in that way.”

improving on songs

When McLaughlin and his band visit Fort Wayne with opening act and American Idol Season 8 winner Kris Allen, he said he will not be playing the songs from Indiana in album sequence, but will alter the lineup and sprinkle in some of his other hits along. 

“We aren’t using any clicks or tracks that will lock us into a show that is pre-made, so we can be super flexible and change the set list up in real time, if we want,” he said.

Playing these songs again excites McLaughlin, not only because he gets to revisit them for nostalgia’s sake, but because he thinks they sound better now than they did 15 years ago. 

“The guys playing with me are so killer, so what I am personally most excited about is hearing these songs through this band,” he said. “And I can sing these songs better now than I did back in 2006. When I referenced some of this music for rehearsals, I wondered, ‘Why I was singing like that?’ and ‘Why did I play that?’ 

“I’ve got 15 years of experience under my belt since we made that record, and I feel like I’ve learned a thing or two since then. So, I’m excited to sing these songs in, what I feel like, is the proper way.” 

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