ACM Top New Male Vocalist nominee Deryl Dodd has a lot to be thankful for lately. He just completed his first two dates on the Brooks & Dunn Tailgate Tour and his second single, “John Roland Wood,” from his self-titled album, is already in the hands of country radio. But more than anything he’s thankful for regaining his health. Dodd has been out of the public eye the last few months, but not by his choice. Mid February found the superb traditional vocalist experiencing poor hand coordination and double vision. Initially, he was diagnosed with an ear infection. As the days went on and he wasn’t improving, but actually getting worse, he sought a specialist while he was on the road in Texas. Dodd had lost coordination in most of the right side of his body. Then it progressed to the left side. He was having trouble walking and could not play his guitar. After several spinal taps, MRI’s and a short hospital stay, it was determined that Dodd had an infection in his spinal fluid. The infection caused a slight inflammation of the brain, which in turn affected his motor skills. As a musician this was devastating. “When the doctors in Texas determined it was more than an ear infection,” explains Dodd, “and it took a couple of weeks to get the results from all the tests, I was scared to death of all the possible illnesses that these types of symptoms can point to. But my prognosis was still the best possible scenario. Even though it has taken me off the road for a few months, it’s given me time to realize just how fortunate I really am. We had a couple of great dates in Texas with Brooks & Dunn this weekend and I can’t wait ’til my next show. It felt good to be back on stage. I’m still not 100-percent, but I’m getting there. I’m honored to be part of two great tours this summer, Brooks & Dunn and Tim McGraw, and of course, we will always be back to play our favorite clubs and dancehalls.” Doctors say that a full recovery is anticipated.