Michael G. Batdorf
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Michael G. Batdorf

Wilson, Wyoming, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1976 | SELF

Wilson, Wyoming, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1976
Solo Americana Folk

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Michael G. Batdorf - Weather May Come (Self Released)
Based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, back home Batdorf has already released half a dozen or so solo albums as well as three as frontman for bar band One Ton Pig (the musicians from which also contribute here), but his name is yet to register on a national level let alone over on these shores. On the evidence of this, his latest, I’d say that’s long overdue.

He cites Guy Clark as one of his primary influences, and you can certainly hear that in the songs and voice, opening number Pushing In The Dirt taking you back to Clark’s first two albums with their dust road troubadour air. The same’s true of Matthew Brady Song, a first person narrative in the voice of the famed American Civil War photographer and the hard times into which he fell, and several others while the fiddle laced Murder In The Hole and, banjo notwithstanding, How Can You Sleep This Way evoke the fiery side of Dylan.

With people and places at the heart of his lyrics, he’s a highly accomplished storyteller and songsmith, whether addressing soulless contemporary Nashville in Music City ("I’ll be damned if I’ll be another name on the wall") with its Harlan Howard namecheck, the story of a backwoods girl who dies from eating hallucinogenic ‘shrooms in search of d0ivine wisdom to help her struggling family in the allegorical Destroying Angel (which, like the Appalachian blues Everything Came Down, features sterling mandolin solo by Tim Farris) or finding salvation through love in the Dylanish slow swaying Righteous Set Of Times. Even what at first seems a simple love song, Right There For Your Man comes with a bitter twist about those that need to be needed and those who don’t deserve to receive.

The nature of the media and the music business today being what it is, there’s many a reason why an act may never achieve more than a regional profile, and most are reasonably happy with being a big fish in a small pool, but with an artist of this calibre it’s almost a duty to spread the word from ocean to ocean. Bring on the climate change.

www.michaelgbatdorf.com

Mike Davies, February 2014 - Mike Davies


http://www.wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/wyoming-artist-profile-jackson-band-one-ton-pig - NPR


One Ton Pig – Big Norm



One Ton Pig – Big Norm
2010, One Ton Pig
Jackson Hole Wyoming is a skiing Mecca and all-around party town. It takes a special sort of band to really rock such a swinging party scene. Luckily for Jackson Hole, One Ton Pig broke and broke hard on the local bar scene several years ago. Featuring the songwriting and vocals of Michael Batdorf, the band is an all star cast including Justin Smith (Mandatory Air) on guitar and vocals; Jason Baggett on drums; Andy Caldar (Banyan) on bass and Tim Farris (Jet Black Ninja Funkgrass Unit) on mandolin and vocals. If a song is danceable and you can drink to it, you’re likely to find it in a One Ton Pig set. In November of 2010, One Ton Pig released their second album, Big Norm, a joyous mix of outlaw country, Americana and gin-laden fun.
One Ton Pig practices the KISS principle on Big Norm, letting the inherent catchiness and vibrant melodies of the songs rule. One Ton Pig gets things started with “Looking For Springs”, a solid blend of bluegrass, country and folk. Batdorf’s vocals are as smooth and pleasant as always, and the guitar and mandolin work here are superb. “Let Me Rattle” blends into Appalachian style folk, a train song about going back home to West Virginia. “Time Rolls On” features some of the finest instrumentation on the album, offering up an urgent, catchy feel that will draw you into its quasi-existential message. “Cruel Words” plays like water, washing over the listener like a second skin. The melody is catchy and simple; the arrangement intricate yet easy to follow. The guitar work here is outstanding.
“Butterfly In A Hurricane” has a talk/sing style that focuses on the concept of a rambling life. You could easily remove the vocals from this song and have a wonderful jam/instrumental tune. As it is, the lyrics are here more to provide internal structure around which the members of One Ton Pig jam. “Cold Water Blues” mixes alt-folk, rock and perhaps the spirit of the blues in a song about surviving on the lamb. There’s a mix of joy and resignation here that is intriguing, as if a choice is made and the path is welcome but the hardships are frustrating. “Sonoma” is a vibrant instrumental that pays tribute musically to Sonoma, California’s roots as a Mexican state. As elsewhere on the album the instrumental work is over the top, with Tim Farris in particular standing out on Mandolin on this track.
“Drunk To The Bone” is a bluesy folk/rocker that is perfect for the bar scene; energetic and fun and built around an infectious riff. This is the sort of tune that regular fans will likely chant back to the band; a sort of bar room camaraderie that can’t quite be captured on a studio album but would not be surprising live. “Murder In The Hole” is a tragic song full of mischance and foolishness. The songwriting is solid, and fits in nicely with a long line of similar songs in American folk music. “Song In The Kitchen” is another occasion where the lyrics don’t seem to matter quite so much. This is a jam tune with lyrics added for form, and One Ton Pig does it up big. “Load Up And Be Gone” strips things down a bit, built around a simple chord progression on guitar. The premise here is somewhat banal, with a highly repetitive chorus that is more thematic than story based, but the instrumental work continues to shine. “Chilhowie Mountain Blues” takes it roots from the country/rock of Johnny Cash and expands upon this sound in one of the catchiest turns on the album. Try to sit still for this one. It can’t be done. One Ton Pig closes with “Burn It Down”, a rowdy tune that takes on the sort of progress that has seen the rise of strip malls across the country. It’s a killer closing tune, raucous and musically dynamic; showing off the extreme instrumental skills of the entire band.
Big Norm is the sort of album you through in your CD player or call up on your playlist and leave it there for days at a time. From an instrumental standpoint it would be difficult to find a finer working group today. Some of the lyrics offered up on Big Norm work essentially as filler, providing a trellis over which One Ton Pig’s instrumental magic can spread. John Batdorf is an accomplished songwriter and storyteller, but it’s clear that in some instances on Big Norm he and One Ton Pig were willing to allow the music to speak for itself.
Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5) - Wildy's World


http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/one-ton-pig-recorded-live - NPR


http://www.lifeinthetetons.com/Jackson-Hole-Magazine/Winter-2012/Kings-of-the-Silver-Dollar/ - Jackson Hole Magazine


http://www.planetjh.com/music_arts_culture/A_106790.aspx - JH Weekly


http://content.bandzoogle.com/users/OneTonPig/files/OneTonPig_BigNorm_MikeMorgan.pdf - Band Zoggle


http://www.reviewyou.com/one-ton-pig-big-norm-2/ - Review You


Songwriters serenade Jackson, Victor audiences
Wednesday, October 01, 2008

By Aaron Davis
Jackson Hole, Wyo.-Creative artists share many common personality traits in their pursuit of original ideas, but the ability to grasp the bigger picture isn’t always a reality for them. Music or art caught in the moment of afflated thought cannot be sacrificed — it must be captured.

Driggs-based musician Michael Batdorf has been able to seize the moment with his new release Love Just Love, but the bigger concept is still intact. The new disc is the final piece in a series of four albums that he pre-conceived when first moving into Teton Valley. The first three were When the Mountain Calls (2005/Easy Chair Music), Just a Word (2006), and Remains (2007).

Zooming out on the four album titles, one reads, “When the mountain calls, just a word remains, love just love.”

“I had this concept through the years that I would do four albums, then disappear for a while,” Batdorf said. “I came up with all of the titles before the albums came out.”

Batdorf has been working to finish up the album while preparing for his new brainchild, the Teton Songwriter Tour, which will hit more than 20 markets during October and November. Joining him on the ro
ad will be songwriters Jessica Kilroy of Montana and former Teton Valley resident Reina Collins, as well as bassist Kris Towles. Guitarist Justin Smith and mandolin player Tim Farris will join in for the Jackson leg. Batdorf has spearheaded the details of the tour — booking, promotion and even the transportation — his 1993 Thomas short bus.

“I was trying to think of something more marketable than just ‘Michael Batdorf Trio,” Batdorf said of the Teton Songwriter Tour. “This way it’s more of an event in hopes of reaching a wider audience. Maybe it doesn’t appeal to them what I’m doing, but they may enjoy what Jessica or Reina are doing.”

Collins and Kilroy share a similar homecoming to the Tetons. Collins owned and operated Big Hole Music in Driggs while living in Teton Valley for nearly a decade before relocating to Portland, Ore. in 1995. She recorded roots-folk disc Kitchen Sink in 2003 and released Austin to Boston this year.

A Victor, Idaho native, Kilroy recently headlined Songwriter’s Alley at Lyndsay McCandless Contemporary. Tunes from her new album Big Dreams earned praise when she won the 2008 NW String Summit Band Competition.

“The idea for this songwriter’s tour is to spend time with one another’s songs,” Batdorf explained. “With time, I’d like to see this tour build a reputation where I can bring in new songwriters and help them.”

All three songwriters have recorded at Ben Winship’s Henhouse studio, including Batdorf’s brand new release. Batdorf received a degree in Music Production and Technology from Middle Tennessee State University outside Nashville and thus has recorded many of his own albums. The players that he envisioned on the album, like bassist Eric Thorin, and the quality output drove his decision. Being down the recording corridor a time or two, he knew the vibe felt right.

“It’s a necessity to be efficient, but also to record in a moment of emotion,” he said. “So I might not always keep the best take but the most emotional take. The same goes for solos. Living around Nashville, everything seems so pure, but it’s not always that way. That’s why I like live recordings.”

The Teton Songwriter’s Tour will perform, 7 to 11 p.m., on Friday and Saturday in the Silver Dollar Bar at the Wort Hotel and, 10 p.m., Sunday at the Knotty Pine in Victor. There’s no cover charge for the Silver Dollar Bar and the Knotty can be reached at 208-787-2866.

To hear the music of these songwriters, visit www.reinagcollins.com, myspace.com/michaelbatdorf, and www.jessicakilroymusic.com.

Photo by AARON?DAVIS
Michael Batdorf is the driving force behind the Teton Songwriter Tour.

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Songwriters serenade Jackson, Victor audiences | Planet JH News Article: Music Box
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- Planet Jackson Hole



One Ton Pig fine-tunes Americana set list
Band mixes classic rock, bluegrass, Latin vibe.

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Michael Batdorf, left, and Justin Smith practice with fellow One Ton Pig members (not shown) Andy Calder and Jason Baggett. The band plays Tuesdays at the Silver Dollar Bar. NEWS&GUIDE PHOTO / STEVE REMICH

View our entire photo gallery >>

Katy Niner
November 7, 2007

With fewer gigs and more time during the offseason, Jackson bands continue to practice. This Stepping Out series goes behind the scenes to capture valley musicians honing their craft.

Prepared for the fun of reliving teenage shenanigans, bassist Andy Calder didn’t expect to have a musical reckoning during his 20th high school reunion in Flint, Mich.
Calder, the bass player for One Ton Pig, narrated his reunion story while his band mates – Justin Smith on guitar and lead vocals, Michael Batdorf, guitar and vocals, and drummer Jason Baggett – futzed with their instruments during a practice last week.
Calder’s mid-practice anecdote: Cruising from the airport along I-75 in a rental ride, Calder turned on the radio station that he grew up listening to and immediately recognized the voice introducing Led Zeppelin.
“It was the same record, the same time slot,” Calder said. Back in Jackson, he sent the DJ an e-mail: “Glad you don’t change, Arthur.”
Calder seemed stunned by the juxtaposition of his musical trajectory compared with the DJ in Flint: The Zeppelin record on repeat was a dramatic foil for the musical variety of One Ton Pig.
Practice began with Smith proposing to cull their Americana repertoire to a tight list of 30 songs.
But before the set-list inquisition, they added new tunes ahead of their Halloween gig at the Silver Dollar Bar, starting with “Where Did You Sleep Last Night,” aka “In the Pines,” a haunting folk song originally made popular by Lead Belly and Bill Monroe, and again, more recently, by Nirvana’s plodding cover of it. A line referring to a decapitated head “found in the driver’s wheel” made it fitting for Halloween, Smith said, when he played the Nirvana version for the band from iTunes.
“‘But we’re a bluegrass band!’” Calder feigned protest.
The cover art for MTV Unplugged in New York came up on Smith’s desktop screen: a stage cluttered with fans and flamingo pink lights.
“See,” Smith said “that’s what I want our stage to look like.”
“They’re too loud even before they played a note,” Calder quipped.
They run through it once, but without Baggett (he set up his drum set slowly because he had pulled his back moving the day before), so they play it again with percussions and Batdorf sang.
The Halloween theme continued with “Spooky” by the Classics IV. They jump in, playing over the recording. Smith worked his voice into the grooves of the rolling rhythms.

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MULTIMEDIA



Click to see more photos and hear the unique sounds from a practice session with the Jackson-based Americana band, One Ton Pig. NEWS&GUIDE PHOTOS / STEVE REMICH

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As a cold drizzle fell outside, Smith’s practice room in his Wilson home steeped in music and its accoutrements. Two acoustic guitars hung in a corner, and artwork of a musical theme, including a photograph of the Imagine mosaic in Central Park, covered one wall. Back issues of Guitar Player filled a bookshelf, and sheets of Christmas music rested on a keyboard. Smith asked Baggett to flick on the standing light beside him, a chameleon orb that changed from blue to green to purple. Calder questioned its utility.
“Mood is where the magic happens,” Smith said.
The mood became democratic when they began reviewing their master set list, kept on Smith’s computer. He went down the list: Calder voted to nix “Bayou Voodoo,” but Batdorf spoke up in its favor. “It’s a giddy-up song,” he said. “People get up and move for it.”
Calder set a baseline for the band’s democracy. “I vote no on the song, but I vote yes on keeping the gig.”
The voting continued, with all four players voicing opinions. They tried to balance slow tracks with fast, straight-up bluegrass with classic rock, Jackson favorites with the band’s best. “Could we not play any jail songs for awhile?” Batdorf requested. They deemed some good but overplayed (“Wagon Wheel”), others were dismissed as ho-hum (“Blue Car”). Honesty reigned. “I think I understand where it’s going,” Calder said of “Leavin’ Mother’s Bones,” “but I don’t always feel like we get there as a band.”
To explore this statement, Smith dug up the song’s charts, and he and Batdorf traded seats and instruments so that Batdorf could take the lead on reworking it (they both play acoustic and electric guitars).
Calder asked Batdorf what he wanted musically and offered a Latin undertone, which Baggett accentuated. They discussed what they were doing as they played. The Latin vibe saved the song list from the set-list cemetery.
The rehearsal ended with “Dead Flowers” – quintessentially One Ton Pig, according to Calder. “When people ask me what One Ton Pig sounds like, I say ‘Dead Flowers,’” he said.
Just as Zeppelin evoked adolescence for Calder, bluegrassified rock is classic One Ton Pig. - Jaskon Hole News and Guide


Love Just Love
Michael G. Batdorf
3 out of 5
On the way out of town for his Teton Songwriter Tour, local musician Michael Batdorf released a homegrown folk country album, called Love Just Love. As a good folk songwriter should, Batdorf traces his life with the experiences and reflections of people who have surrounded him. On the album those people include locals Ben Winship, Margo Valiante (recently relocated to Austin, Texas), Eric Thorin and Kris Towles. They converged in Winship’s The Henhouse studio in Victor.

Lyrics embrace childhood nostalgia, adult insight, adventures unknown and Batdorf’s unwillingness to allow world-cynicism to invade hometown pleasures and values. As the album’s title suggests, the songs are about love, in the end. Compassion and possibility, yes, but also good ole fashioned guy-and-girl trial and tribulation. At its best, a love song stands in for the uncertainty and hope of being a human being in civilization, of individuals searching for understanding and other individuals to whom to provide understanding. Batdorf accomplished this in Love Just Love. www.michaelgbatdorf.com.
– Matthew Irwin
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CD REVIEWS: Cold War Kids, Peter, Bjorn and John | Planet JH News Article: General News - Planet JH Weekly


HOME » RECENSIES » Michael G. Batdorf
16 feb
Michael G. Batdorf
Opgeslagen in: RECENSIES — John Gjaltema @ 00:34

Wat heb ik als Amerikaans artiest aan een recensie op een Nederlandse website? Dat vroeg Michael G. Batdorf zich in eerste instantie af na het verzoek om zijn album Love Just Love (eigen beheer) op te sturen. Het illustreert de kleinschaligheid die veel Amerikaanse musici in het rootsgenre eigen is. Af en toe optreden en daarna wat cd’s verkopen, daarbij blijft het vaak. Dat is prima natuurlijk, maar het zou toch ook wel zonde zijn. Voor Batdorf zelf, maar zeker ook voor geïnteresseerden in Nederland. Want Love Just Love is een plaat waarmee hij de concurrentie met veel bekendere namen uit de countryfolk aankan. Michael G. Batdorf groeide op in Ohio, woonde in de Appalachen en verhuisde op zeker moment naar een vallei in Idaho met uitzicht op het Teton-gebergte. De crisis is er de oorzaak van dat hij overweegt weer naar het oosten van Amerika te trekken, maar hij moet nog wennen aan dat idee. De overweldigende natuur is namelijk een belangrijke inspiratiebron. Dat blijkt direct al op opener You’ve Seen The Blues, waarin de Tetons het decor vormen. Met blues heeft het nummer weinig te maken, met bluegrass des te meer, vooral dankzij de mandoline van Ben Winship. En als we het over bluegrass hebben, denk dan bij Batdorf maar aan een Steve Earle. Als de ware troubadour zingt hij soms met een zekere verbetenheid, terwijl hij in zijn liedjes toch vooral een soort goedertierenheid uitstraalt. Hij wil het liefst verhalen van gewone mensen vertellen. De tekst van Hell To Pay is indrukwekkend. Het is een liedje over de drank die nogal wat kapot maakt. De kinderen zijn de dupe en een auto wordt tegen een boom geparkeerd. He trade his old liver for a song… / Everything is George Jones for today / I’m drinking my life away. Burn It Down, wederom met een hoofdrol voor mandoline, is lekker uptempo. In Unfold spreekt hij de hoop uit dat hij nog rechtop staat als hij zeventig is. Want er vallen nogal wat mensen om hem heen weg. Song In The Kitchen is ook al zeer geslaagd, zij het dat het een iets andere richting opgaat. Op prettige wijze herinnert Batdorf hier aan Tim Buckley. Zeer aanbevolen en verkrijgbaar bij CD Baby.
- altcountry.nl



Batdorf looks toward final performance
September 23, 2009
By Jeannette Boner

Out of valley experiences planned for popular musician.

LEFT: One Ton Pig plans to bring down the house with one of their final summer performances before band member Micheal Batdorf leaves for family this winter. COURTESY PHOTO

Local singer, songwriter and man about the mountains, Michael Batdorf is looking toward some of his final performances this week.

Batdorf, performing with the band One Ton Pig, will be in Victor at the Knotty Pine this Saturday for one of his final fall performances. He will also be playing the last of the Pendl’s series this Sunday morning in Driggs, a solo act that has satisfied the musician through the summer.

Batdorf will head east for the fall where he plans to spend some time with family, recharge and rewrite the words that lace his world together through song.

“As a performer, there is a good bit of anxiety,” he said about the anticipation of leaving steady music gigs for a large unknown. “As an artist, I embrace it. Leaving will force me to dig pretty deep and to think beyond myself.”

Hailing from the upper Ohio River Valley, with a smattering of growing up and growing his music in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and few points in between, Batdorf has found a community of artist and musicians in Teton Valley that have encouraged and inspired his passion for pickin.’ He said it would be difficult to leave them and his school bus home.

“We all live vicariously through one another and if I don’t have music, I don’t have anything,” he said.

One Ton Pig will wrap up its summer season next Tuesday in Jackson at the Silver Dollar Bar. Batdorf said the Knotty Pine performance and the Silver Dollar Bar would be simply fun events.

According to the band’s web site, One Ton Pig boasts an all-star lineup including Juston Smith on guitar and vocals from Mandatory Air, Justin McCalla on drums, Dave McCann from Two Dollar Bill on bass, Tim Farris from Jet Black Ninja Funkgrass Unit on mandolin and vocals, and Michael Batdorf from Easy Chair Music on guitar and vocals. “If you can drink and dance to it we play it,” said Batdorf.

Batdorf also added that Wednesday evening there will be an intimate showcase of musicians in Teton Canyon and he hopes you can find them.

- Batdorf looks forward to final performance


CD INFORMATION
ROOTSVILLE CD REVIEW
MICHAEL G. BATDORF (US)
Love, Just Love

You've Seen the Blues
Take Me To Israel
Hell To Pay
Burn It Down
Unfold
Song In the Kitchen
Load Up and Be Gone
Lady Luck
When the Mountain Calls
Dancin' At the Rascal Fair
The Giving

"...hoping some of my words are getting through" (Michael G. Batdorf)

Een album dat ergens anders belandt ....de oorzaken worden alsmaar duidelijker en begripvol als wij zijn is dat meestal geen enkel probleem ...het is dan ook soms moelijk om door de bomen het bos nog te zien ....met "Love Just Love" van Michael G. Batdorf is het alvast weer Rootsville time ! De singer / songwriter uit Idaho grossiert met de albums "When The Mountain Calls" ( '05), Just A Word" ('06) en "Remains" ('07) al een tijdje op Cd Baby en heeft met het sublieme "Love Just Love" waarschijnlijk de definitieve doorbraak in huis.

"Have you seen (& heard) the blues" ...with Michal G. Batdorf , lead vocals, guitar, Ben Winship on mandolin en Eric Thorin on upright bass ? Waarschijnlijk niet en overweeg je na het beluisteren van de pareltjes "Hell to Pay" , "Unfold" ( with Margo Valiante / backing vocals ) en het Steve Earle - esque "Lady Luck" (Allison Moorer ?) een zoektocht die je misschien zelfs naar "Israel" leidt om dit schitterend bluegrass to folk - blues gebeuren live mee te maken dan wij kunnen je alvast geruststellen dat je met "A Song in the Kitchen" , "Dancin ' at the Rascal Fair" in je eigen livingroom perfect de Appalachian lokroep van "When the Mountain Calls" kan creëren. Met "Burn It Down" en "Load Up And Be Gone" wordt daar nog een leuk extraatje aangebreid en kan deze jongen gewagen dat "Love Just Love" van Michael G. Batdorf een folk - blues album is of serious soul and craftmanship ! (SWA)


INFO ARTIST
website
my space
music samples
video
RECORD LABEL
EASY CHAIR MUSIC
DISTRIBUTION

CD BABY
website

- Rootsville


Creativity with a conscience: Civic-minded songwriters turn heads
Published in the Teton Valley News, Story by Alta Olesen

In addition to being recognized by their peers as great singer/songwriters, the local music listeners are also taking notice of Jessica Kilroy and Michael Batdorf, both of Victor, who have joined the fast-growing artistic community here in Teton Valley.

Batdorf was born in Ohio but was raised in Western Pennsylvania where he bought a guitar and a four-track at age 12 because he wanted to learn to do everything himself.

"I wanted complete control of what I was doing," Batdorf explained.

He attended college at West Virginia University and also attended recording school at Middle Tennessee State University. In January of 2004 he decided to move out west to hone his musical skills. He ended up in Idaho Falls until he discovered Teton Valley. He fell in love with this area and moved here six months ago.

Although Batdorf played music in Idaho Falls, he felt that it was hard finding his niche there. He played many gigs, but said that the only places he really liked playing at were BJ's Bayou in Roberts and the Purple Gecko in Idaho Falls.

"It was tough exposing myself in Idaho Falls. I naturally gravitated here," Batdorf said of the valley.

Batdorf feels that Teton Valley is much more accepting to his blues, folk and jazz styles than was Idaho Falls.

"I feel like people appreciate it here," Batdorf added.

Jessica Kilroy's roots were planted here when she was born in Rexburg and spent the first two months of her life in Victor before moving to Montana, and later, to California. Eventually, Kilroy and her family moved back to the Teton Range where she attended high school until her junior year.

Kilroy started playing guitar at age 13 with her younger brother, Jason, on a broken guitar. In high school she bought an old Stella guitar from a thrift store. She played and wrote songs with her friends, and remembers playing at open mic night at Tony's Pizza when she was young.

As a senior in Montana, Kilroy began getting serious about her musical future. Her choir teacher, Michael Atherton, believed that she could go places with her talent and encouraged her to, telling her that she owed it to society to pursue music.

"He's the coolest guy ever, my largest inspiration," Kilroy Said. " I always knew that I'd be involved in music, but it wasn't until I was a senior in high school that I got serious about it."

After high school Kilroy went to college in Missoula for a while and then decided she wanted to be with her family here in the mountains so she recently moved back to her hometown.

Poetry is very important for both Batdorf and Kilroy, and both believe writing poetry has helped them with songwriting. Kilroy started out writing poetry and turned her interest to songwriting while Batdorf felt that writing poetry helped him develop as a songwriter.

"I wrote to express myself and to change the world," Kilroy said of her early experiences with lyrics.

Both Batdorf and Kilroy's passions for songwriting comes out in their songs and those lyrics have turned the heads of many a listener. They write about personal experiences and about local issues facing their generation. Batdorf, a natural storyteller, has written a song about Teton County that sends out a message to take care of what we have in the beautiful place he has come to call home.

Batdorf feels that writing songs is his way of getting his ideas and thoughts out to the public. He has a strong desire to put out his message any way he can.

"I feel obligated to say something," Batdorf said.

Recently, Big Hole Music in Driggs has been hosting evenings of music by local entertainers and this is where Kilroy and Batdorf first met and decided to play music together.

"I heard people talking about Jessica so I went to her second show at Big Hole. I definitely found an echo with what I was doing." Batdorf recalled.

Kilroy also saw Batdorf at a show at Big Hole Music where she was impressed with is musical skill.

"He's out of my league." Kilroy remembered thinking, but after speaking with Batdorf she felt extremely respected and a musical friendship grew.

"Michael encourages me to do things I am not used to doing," Kilroy said.

Kilroy and Batdorf also play music with other musicians around the valley and they want to encourage artists to build a community in order to raise awareness of what is going on around us.

"Just hearing another voice that echoes what I'm trying to say is very important," Batdorf explained, emphasizing that the people who he comes in contact with are very inspirational to him.

Both Batdorf and Kilroy enjoy what they do, performing their own original songs. They think that it's important to get their messages out.

Kilroy currently has one album recorded called "Before Dawn." She recorded the album in 2003 with the help of her mentor, Michael Atherton. Batdorf plans on having a self-recorded album out soon called "When the Mountain Calls."

Be sure to look out for the posters featuring these two talented musicians. They are sure to inspire and awe any listener in any venue. - Teton Valley News


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio


A true “chameleon of song”, Michael blends genres and creates something uniquely his own.

A style akin to Guy Clark, Jason Isbell, Townes Van Zandt, Chris Stapleton, James McMurtry....

Billboard Annual World Song Contest Honorable Mention  Larrivee Guitar Sponsored ArtistEasy Chair Recording Artist
2017 Silver Winner Jackson, Wyoming Best Original Band (One Ton Pig) 2012 Gold Winner Jackson, Wyoming Best Original Band (One Ton Pig)2011 Bronze Winner Jackson, Wyoming Best Band (One Ton Pig2009 Write For Kids Song Contest Finalist
Few songwriters can say they have had a $1.5 million showroom built for their music.  Michael’s Wyoming based band has packed the house every Tuesday night in Jackson Hole’s Historic Silver Dollar Bar for over 10 years and the owners enthusiastically accommodated the demand.  Fewer songwriters can say they have dedicated 15 years of their life to serving at-risk youth in a Wilderness Therapeutic Program.  Mix this all in with the landscape of Wyoming’s western Mountains and you get a snapshot of Michael’s unique muse.
Sometimes people have an obvious purpose in life that is pursued even as a youth.  Michael Batdorf received his first guitar at age 12 and started, immediately, writing his own songs.  After a few years, he began recording his creations in his own little studio, which had a huge impact on his craft in allowing him to explore the depths of a song beyond just a guitar and a voice.  Even before he acquired any musical equipment, Michael had taken an interest in lyrical study and writing.  His interest in poetry through early childhood led him to write words for his own songs.
As a young man growing up in the Midwest United States, Batdorf listened to Rock and Roll.  WIth an analytical and inquisitive nature, he traced the roots of this music he came to admire.  Michael discovered a world and history of American Folk Music.  (Blues, Bluegrass, Jazz, etc.)  A deeper study would reveal a world history and evolution of music.  (West African, Irish Celtic, Native American, etc.)  Of course, as Michael discovered, one can’t study a music without understanding the people from which it comes.  (History, Philosophy, Stories, etc.)  This is quite an endeavor and mixing these genres and experiences to form one’s own style has become Batdorf’s life work.
Finding new musical direction, something that hasn’t been done, is not an easy task.  Michael studied music recording and music business at Middle Tennessee State University.  After leaving the Nashville area, he settled into the Tetons of western Wyoming and has committed to his songwriting craft.  He has released over a half dozen solo albums and several albums with other musicians.  Again, attaching himself to the stories of the people and the land around him, he has found a voice that is uniquely his own.  Add civic aim, philosophy, and environmentalism to a deep understanding of roots music and you come close the the experience of listening to one of Michael Batdorf’s songs.
Michael currently plays with 3 different bands that continually push him as a songwriter.  One Ton Pig, is a Bluegrass-Rock 6 piece based out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming and can be seen Tuesday nights at the Historic Wort Hotel Silverdollar Showroom.  Brother Wolf is Michael’s answer to his deep love for Jimi Hendrix and is a Blues-Rock Power-Quartet that plays through the inner Mountain West.  Easy Chair Trio is a Folk-World Sound trio that is based out of Southeast Ohio.

Band Members