McGrath and his former musical partner Don Potter were very popular regionally in the 1960s and through the ‘70s, and teamed up with friend Chuck Mangione for the successful “Friends and Love” and “Together” concerts.
The Gibbs Street stage where McGrath will play is just outside of the Eastman Theater, where he last played to three sold-out houses in 2008, for a reunion of those “Friends and Love” musicians.
He lives in Nashville now, with his wife, actress Tricia Cast. She commutes to Los Angeles for her recurring role as Nina on the daytime drama “The Young and The Restless.”
McGrath, now a doting grandfather, mostly stays home and writes songs. A few times a year he comes to Rochester to play them at local venues, and at house concerts, which are small, intimate events usually held in living rooms or backyard party tents.
As for hitting it big in the music business, McGrath figures his music might not fit in with today’s country music scene, despite success writing for the likes of Mangione, Kenny Rogers, and Wynonna Judd, who had one of her greatest hits with the Bat McGrath/Billy Kirsch song “Come Some Rainy Day.”
Still, he’s liking what he writes, and more than ever, is taking his guitar-playing seriously.
He’s also at peace with his older songs, and almost always mixes them in at his shows.
Of the 500 or so he’s written, none has been played more than “The Blue Eagle.” And this Saturday, McGrath will take the song back to the bar where it was born.