John  Batdorf
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John Batdorf

Redmond, OR | Established. Jan 01, 1970 | SELF | AFTRA

Redmond, OR | SELF | AFTRA
Established on Jan, 1970
Solo Americana Acoustic

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Though an essential songwriter/singer behind the scenes in the music and film industry, John Batdorf deserves equal time on the radio and Home Again provides solid evidence for that argument. A reunion of sorts with 70's partner Mark Rodney, the title track is a re-make of a Batdorf tune from their second release as a duo, 1972's eponymous Batdorf & Rodney release. As with Ian Hunter, Buzzy Linhart, the group Epitaph and a notable list of other veteran artists, the music they are generating in the new millennium is in many ways superior to their previous efforts, and better than what radio and what's left of the industry is attempting to force on the masses. Mark Rodney writes the liner notes here inside this elegant package with over a dozen photo images of the players and he mentions the sound of Crosby, Stills & Nash. Yes, the title track could fit nicely into that trio's repertoire, though John Batdorf takes this disc through his own personal journey. "Me and You" is one of seven co-writes with Michael McLean and it would be a nugget on any Paul McCartney album. Vocally sounding like a cross between John Anderson from Yes and Seals & Croft (both of them; and yes, Batdorf & Rodney have been compared to that duo in the past), John Batdorf generates a striking album with help from his colleagues, a master craftsman delivering the goods without resting on past laurels or going through the motions. Though there is nothing ground-breaking here, that isn't the objective; it is refreshing to hear an artist do what he does best and do it without concern for Top 40 airplay or commercial success, though this album is oh so very radio friendly. Drifting through folk/pop and the blues of "Solitude" Batdorf communicates his ideas superbly, backing vocals cascading in a spacious production that is minimal yet still big. "I Don't Always Win" evokes that minstrel in the gallery feel Ian Anderson spoke of, the voices matching the guitar sounds with amazing effect. The ten titles clock in at under forty-five minutes but it is great playing and well considered production that makes this a very special project. The final track, "Where Are You Now?, is an old Batdorf & Rodney number which previously only showed up on their Live At McCabes release. Perhaps collaborations with Jonathan Richman and other quirky originals could take this music to an even different path and audience in the future but for right now the sounds on Home Again is warm, eloquent and very enjoyable. - Joe Viglione From All Music Guide


John Batdorf

BatMac Music/Indy

Half of the underappreciated '70s folk-rock duo Batdorf and Rodney, singer-songwriter John Batdorf has a new album out that recalls the heyday of the acoustic guitar backing vocal harmonies age. Eight new songs and rerecorded versions of a couple of old Batdorf and Rodney staples, "Home Again" is as fun an album as Batdorf has ever been involved with.

Fans of the old duo will be delighted to see Mark Rodney on harmony vocals both on a revamped version of "Home Again," as well as on "Where Are You Now?," which has been available only on the "Live at McCabes" album. Both tracks stand among the very best the two have done together, and hearing them together again after 30 years is truly a treat.

Fans of Batdorf's more recent recordings will be glad to know that he's joined here by collaborators James Lee Stanley and Bill Batstone. Stanley, in particular, provides a ready foil to Batdorf's own guitar work. And Batdorf's two sons, Brett and Matt, provide some harmony vocals as well, adding a familial touch.

Batdorf's singing is better than ever, his songwriting as strong as always, the supporting cast outstanding.

Anyone who digs the acoustic singer-songwriter school of '70s folk rock is likely to enjoy the groove Batdorf and Co. have laid down here.

John Batdorf plays April 27 at Normal Heights United Methodist Church in San Diego.
- Jim Trageser Staff Writer North County Tribune


earBuzz Review: John Batdorf's liner notes explain that he's been trying to get his solo project out since 1969. His intentions, always the best, were always side-lined by 8 different albums with partners from his musical life. This release, "Side One", is an aptly titled 5 song EP, with a CD that literally looks like a grooved record. Side One is the best side so far. The record opens up with "I Found You", a personal tune that describes a partnership that sent his cynicism away and heart soaring. The wonderfully written tune sings, 'now that we are beyond those awkward dances i know what it feels like to fly'. Track 2, "All for You", is written for an unknown soldier, and tears at the heart as Batdorf sings from the point of view of the soldier who gave his life fighting for freedom. The following track, "Only Seventeen", Batdorf gets caught with an infatuated shock as the object of his attraction is under-age. The fourth track, "One of the Lucky Ones", reflects on Batdorf's interpretation of fortune and fate as he lyrically balances out the confusion of perspective as he feels he wasn't able to fly, why others cannot run and 'and why does a stranger who's dreams were denied have me wondering why i'm one of the lucky ones'. "See Us Shine", the final track, is an anthem of triumph that has depth, joy, and a wholesomeness that feels and sounds like the love of life. Batdorf's vocals throughout remind us of slightly more baritone Jon Anderson of Yes - he has a texture that cuts through the mix beautifully. The record and performance is clearly about one thing, the song. The production is professional and world-class, and as good as the performances are musically, it's all about the writing. Every nuance and aspect of the 5 songs is focused on supporting the communication - 36 years, 8 records, and not a minute too soon.

- http://www.earbuzz.com/johnbatdorf


earBuzz Review: John Batdorf's most recent offering is "Home Again", a collection of 10-tunes that run the emotional gambit from poetic dedications to peace and love to the darker analysis of human relationships and politics. The record opens with "Home Again", a Batdorf and Rodney beloved tune. The wonderful thing about music is that it is completely free to be redefined and done with newness and "Home Again" is one of those tunes. Batdorf's keen sense of harmony has CSN timbres that were stylized synchronistically and could as easily be called Batdorf timbres. But, here you have it, acoustic guitar advanced performing along with four-part clear harmonies within tunes that are written by an artist. Track 2, "Me and You", is a bluegrass groove that celebrates the relationship that takes two hearts and two minds and equal one thinking and one beat. The harmonic complexity continues with "I Don't Always Win". The self-deprecating raw and poignant picture of the reality of life's ups and downs is touching and as honest as anything we've heard. Batdorf sings, 'still that sweet companion when i feel abandoned, keeps poisoning this canyon called my life'. The insight and depression revealed continues in "Something is Wrong". Batdorf sings of the race to go nowhere that can be for the listener a realty-check not only for political topics, but also personal references as a companion to 'win'. The final track, "Where Are You Now", is an acoustic guitar trance and mystic revelation as Batdorf leaves the listener with something to ponder at the end of this records' journey and delivers it with a firm foundation in mature adult and kind artistry.
- http://www.earbuzz.com/johnbatdorf


Published 12:00 am PST Sunday, March 4, 2007
CD review: John Batdorf, Home Again
Batmac Music, 4 stars
By Jim Carnes - Bee Staff Writer
The Sacramento Bee
http://sacbee.com/122/story/131222.html
More than three decades after putting an end to Batdorf and Rodney, John Batdorf and Mark Rodney are singing together again -- and it's great. Just like old times. Except with a maturity of songwriting on Batdorf's part that imbues this set with warmth and depth. Batdorf refers to "Home Again" as "the Batdorf and Rodney album that was never made," which is sure to delight a bunch of old fans. It includes three songs from the duo's days together -- the title track, which is performed here in a version that's even better than the original; "Ain't It Like Home," which Batdorf performs as a solo; and "Where Are You Now," a duet that has never appeared on a studio album -- plus seven new songs.
Those two "home" songs are a clue to a major theme of this set. It's about finding a place of safety and comfort. Other fine songs include "Solitude," "Me and You" and "One Night Stands," which is only about extramarital affairs in that it's about a performer's love of his music and the one-night concert stands on the road. This is a really fine collection. - Sacramento Bee


BY DON THRASHER
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
THE DAYTON DAILY NEWS (March 30, 2007)
http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/index/news/

Singer-songwriter John Batdorf was only 15 years old when he left Beavercreek in 1967 and migrated west to seek his fame and fortune with the Loved Ones. The band soon imploded, but the singer-songwriter never left California or gave up his dream of making music.

Batdorf, who performs tonight at Canal Street Tavern, reached his commercial peak in the mid-’70s with acoustic duo Batdorf & Rodney, who released two LPs on Atlantic Records. Despite the ups and downs in his career, he never quit playing and recording. And as Batdorf proves on his new self-released LP, Home Again, at 55 he is still completely focused on creating music.

The album is packed with memorable gems such as Home Again, Solitude and Something is Slipping Away, which are sunny slices of West Coast folk with shimmering acoustic guitars, warm harmonies and Batdorf’s rich, youthful tenor.
“I thought it might be a really cool idea to try to recreate a retro-throwback record,” Batdorf said recently. “I wanted the songs to sound like they were recorded in the late ’60s or early ’70s but were still modern by today’s standards, kind of like a lost album. I wanted to kind of do the songs how I do them at the shows, which is a little different arrangement, a little more scaled down, kind of a house concert approach.”

Home Again, recorded in Batdorf’s home studio, is clearly his baby, but he received musical assistance from James Lee Stanley, Michael McLean, Greg Collier and other talented friends. The project also gave Batdorf the opportunity to work with his twin sons, Brett and Matt, who provided harmony vocals on several cuts. Mark Rodney, his old partner from the ’70s, also added guitar and vocals to re-recordings of a few old songs, marking their first collaboration in 30 years.

Batdorf is promoting the CD to NPR affiliates and Internet radio stations, but his main focus is on XM satellite radio. “I was really trying to gear this project at XM because I thought they would be the immediate national airplay I could get,” said Batdorf, who was pleasantly surprised at the positive response. “All of a sudden I had three songs on XM. I was thrilled. Now they’re playing nine out of the 10 songs. It felt like mission accomplished, now I just have to try to keep spreading the word.”
For more information: www.johnbatdorfmusic.com.

Contact contributing arts and music writer Don Thrasher at donaldthrasher8@aol.com. - Dayton Daily News


Funny thing about the music biz that never changes, you can have all the auspicious beginnings you want but the next step is to get hot or go home. 35 years after putting Batdorf & Rodney to rest after some of the most auspicious beginnings, Batdorf catches up with his roots and re-examines the cult band that faded away but didn’t die. After moving on and successfully wearing other hats, a spate of reissues caused Batdorf and Rodney to come to light again and was the genesis of this set that brings old and new together. Even 35 years on, Batdorf is running with the heart of a kid and adds wisdom to the old songs while adding wonder to the new. A singer/songwriter with more on the ball than a lot of today’s crop, this set is a welcome return home again. Whether an old or new fan, it’s well worth checking out.

- Chris Spector/Midwest Record Recap


"Home Again" by John Batdorf, is a very impressive acoustic adult rock CD. The CD is filled with impressive acoustic guitar work, which sounds really good on this recording. John's vocals are especially beautiful on this CD, and include rich harmonies on many tracks. The recording quality is crystal clear, which is especially effective on this acoustic, unplugged CD, and allows the lyrics to cut through nicely. The songwriting combines well thought-out and thought-provoking lyrics combined with memorable choruses. "Home Again," the title track, combines memorable acoustic guitar work and a memorable chorus, with a powerful lyrical message. "Me and You" includes clever lyrics and nice 2-part harmonies. "Something Is Slipping Away" is a remarkably beautiful song. The up-tempo "One Night Stands" is one of our favorite tracks, with it's hook-filled chorus. If you enjoy acoustic adult rock artists of the 60s and early 70s, such as Crosby, Stills, & Nash, you will enjoy this CD. Pick up a copy today!
- Review by RadioIndy staff - Review by RadioIndy / POSTED ON: 23 Apr 2007


John Batdorf and James Lee Stanley, performing their acoustic rearrangements of Stones songs, some solo stuff and recounting a bunch of rock history, like how Batdorf was signed to Ahmet's Atlantic but then asked to be switched to Geffen's Asylum for the second album and ultimately ended up on Clive's Arista, which is the last time he recorded with Mark Rodney until NOW!

Yup, listen to the Stones samples at http://www.allwoodandstones.com and tracks from John's new album at http://www.johnbatdorfmusic.com.

Last time I saw Batdorf perform, a month ago, he told us how he was inspired by Stephen Stills' great guitar playing. Then, John proceeded to work out on his Martin and bring me right back there, into that pocket, when acoustic music ruled. If you were a fan of that Stephen Stills debut, check out "Can't Be Trusted".

But, the most meaningful song is "I Don't Always Win".

Remember those late night teenager and early twentysomething years, when you had more questions than answers, and you stayed up long after dark, with only your records to console you, keep you company? "I Don't Always Win" sounds EXACTLY LIKE THOSE MOMENTS!

There's a feeling that oldsters, aged baby boomers, can't recapture the greatness of their youth. I think Batdorf is now BETTER! Sure, he got some airplay with Mark Rodney thirty years ago, and toured, but he never broke through to big time fame, he can't survive on his royalties. He's lived inside his head, he hasn't been worried about dealing with groupies at Kitson, but rather feeding his family. So, the passion, the desire, IS STILL THERE!

I didn't listen to Batdorf's album the first time he sent it to me. I mean in today's Net world, how much can you experience, how much can you check out? But, after seeing him live, I INSISTED he send me another. I WANTED to hear it, the way you bought the album of the opening act you experienced in the triple header at Fillmore East.

And for those who were fans the first time, be sure to listen to "Home Again" on MySpace, a remake of a tune from Batdorf & Rodney's second album.

This is the song that won me over. I went to see Batdorf and Stanley for the Stones tunes. I wasn't eager to hear unfamiliar new stuff. But when John started strumming that Martin, when he got lost in the music, when the audience no longer mattered, when it was about the power of music to transform both the player AS WELL as the listener, that's when I got hooked.
... "Solitude" (is) ... my other favorite on his album. It sounds like one of those Stills songs off a Crosby, Stills & Nash album, like "4+20", or "Helplessly Hoping".

If you were ever lonely, if you ever thought the world was unjust, if you ever listened to a record to get you through the night, you'll get this.
By Bob Lefsetz - Bob Lefsetz


The Impressive John Batdorf
July 1st, 2007

It’s the perfect time to experience the music of John Batdorf. John truly knows he is Home Again, and there is no better place to be. Anyone who appreciates good music must appreciate John Batdorf. His energy driven vocals singing heartfelt lyrics, accompanied by perfect harmonic melodies are not to be forgotten. John leaves a long lasting impression the very second his acoustic guitar is in his hands.

Longtime fans will know that John Batdorf’s journey began in 1970 with Mark Rodney, and they were known as “Batdorf and Rodney”. They released a couple albums and gained a nice fan-base during the early 70s, John also being part of the group Silver. Over the past 30 years he has been busy singing as well as songwriting for artists such as America and Kim Carnes. You will even hear John singing background vocals for a variety of artists like The Jefferson Starship, Motley Crue, David Lee Roth, and James Lee Stanley.

He has released a CD with James Lee Stanley titled “All Wood And Stones” which is an acoustic focused album featuring Rolling Stones songs. The most recent release is “Home Again” which is John’s latest solo work. The songs are absolutely fantastic, and I highly recommend giving the album a good listen.

You can read a lot more about John at his website. The website is very informative, so be sure to check it out. You can listen to and buy albums and dvds at the site.
http://www.johnbatdorfmusic.com
http://www.myspace.com/johnbatdorf

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As music editor on my college newspaper in 1971, I reviewed hundreds of albums, many not so kindly. However, a few exceptions crossed my desk, one being a debut album by Batdorf & Rodney titled Off the Shelf. In a day and age of such burgeoning folk rock acts as America, Loggins & Messina, and Seals & Croft, my bar was set high for newcomers. The album, on Atlantic Records, was a pleasant surprise with well-written tunes and intricate vocal harmonies, with the two acoustic guitarists joined by an all-star cast at the Muscle Shoals Studio, including drummer Ronnie Hawkins, guitarist Dean Parks, and keyboardist Barry Beckett.

Flash forward to the present and John Batdorf is back with a dynamic self-produced album, Beep Beep, a delightful 11-track gem of original tunes ( a few co-written with close friends Michael McClean and Bill Batstone) that speak from the heart. Each song has a nostalgic story behind it, from the thrill of being a grandfather to his blissful 43-year marriage to his wife, Melanie, to his longevity as a musician. “Never in my wildest dreams as a young recording artist in the ’70s,” Batdorf states, “could I have ever imagined myself at age 63 still writing, recording, and still making records. That’s where the path has taken me and I still feel that euphoric fire burning in my heart.” While some artists from the ’70s have lost a bit of their vocal prowess, Batdorf shines vocally all the way through with soul, passion, and style, from the rollicking title track opener, “Beep Beep” to the lilting closing track ballad “After the Race Is Run.”

Batdorf readily admits the enormous influence of the Beatles when alluding to his clever Beatles-flavored arrangement on the title track “Beep Beep,” with the laudatory lyrics: “I got the fever back in ’64, ain’t felt nothin’ like it since, nothin’ like it before” followed by “Where Does All the Money Go,” reminiscent of a Paul McCartney post-Beatles flavored tune, highlighted by Chad Watson’s nifty melodic bass figures, right out of the McCartney playbook.

As much as Batdorf’s alluring soulful voice captures the listener from start to finish, traversing through pop, country, folk, and rock flavored tunes, the contributing musicians shine throughout, led by Michael Dowdle’s burning lead guitar lines on rockers “Feels Like Home” and “What’s a Guy to Do,” and his tasteful mandolin phrases on “Never Forget” and “Where Does All the Money Go.” Dave Pearlman’s lap and pedal steel playing covers the gambit, from raw blues riffs to cry-in-your-beer melodic fills. Some perfectly placed background vocals, provided by Gary Falcone, Batstone, and Arlene and Bill Kole, add to multi-layered tracks that never get in the way of each other. Batdorf also engineered and mixed the entire album, knowing just what balance of sound his arrangements called for.

Beep Beep is quite a pleasant listen, sparked by Batdorf’s songwriting, arranging, and storytelling skills; he may not be a household name like Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, or Roger McGuinn, but he’s right on par with any of them. - By Wayne Riker, October 2015


Whether being a rocker or a folkie, Batdorf has made his bones, joined the Vegas hall of fame and has nothing to prove so he comes in with some personal stuff boomers can relate to and appreciate. Love the Beatles, hate the tax man, all the boomer concerns are on board here. Stepping up like the long time pro he is, Batdorf almost seems to be blazing his own trail here and we hope his machete stays true as he continues to clear the underbrush. Fun stuff that certainly resonates with listeners of a certain age. Check it out.
20155 - CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher Copyright 2015 Midwest Record


Discography

Batdorf and Rodney "Off The Shelf" 1971

Batdorf and Rodney "Batdorf and Rodney" 1972

Batdorf and Rodney "Life Is You" 1975

Silver "Silver" 1976

Batdorf and McLean "Look Inside" 1992

Batdorf and McLean "Don't You Know" 1997

Batdorf and Stanley "All Wood and Stones" 2005

John Batdorf "Side One" EP 2005

John Batdorf "Home Again" 2007

John Batdorf and Mark Rodney "Still Burnin'" 2008

John Batdorf "Old Man Dreamin'" 2009

John Batdorf "One Last Wish" 2011

Batdorf and Stanley "All Wood and Stones II" 2012

Batdorf and McLean "Soundtrax2Recovery" 2012

Batdorf and Rodney "Portfolio" 2012

John Batdorf "Beep Beep" 2015



Photos

Bio

John Batdorf is a singer-songwriter solo artist and one half of Las Vegas Rock and Roll Hall Of Famers folk-rock duo Batdorf & Rodney. He’s also a successful film and TV composer, session vocalist, and inspirational musician in the substance recovery community. 

In his four-decade career, he’s worked with icons such as Ahmet Ertegun, David Geffen, Clive Davis, Rod Stewart, Donna Summer, Dwight Yoakum, David Lee Roth, and Mötley Crüe, plus many others. In the realm of film and TV incidental music, he’s lent his voice and compositional skills to beloved shows such as Tom and Jerry KidsGarfield and FriendsTouched By An Angel, Promised Land, and Doctor, Doctor, and Book of Days. With legendary Utah-based singer, composer, and filmmaker, Michael McLean, under, Batdorf & McLean, he’s launched a unique substance abuse survival platform, and released the CD Soundtrax2Recovery. Batdorf has also released new music collaboratively with his old partner Mark Rodney and James Lee Stanley. Since 2004, he’s released five solo albums on his own imprint, BATMAC MUSIC. His latest, Beep Beep, is a joyous and uplifting album that harkens back to his early inspiration of discovering music via The Beatles.