Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Review 10/23/07: B & R in concert - Incredible

B & R in concert - Incredible
-Chris Abood, a music fan in Cleveland, OH-

October 2007 John Batdorf and Mark Rodney came to Northeast Ohio for the first time in over 30 years and those of us who had the opportunity to see them, not once but twice in one weekend, will forever have that glorious memory.

As good as the CD, "Home Again" is, the real treat was hearing the music of John Batdorf, and Batdorf and Rodney, presented acoustically. The guitars of these two musicians sang. The voices were perfect. And the joyful lyrics and music, first shared over 30 years ago, sounded as fresh and vibrant as if we were hearing for the first time.

Mark Rodney is back among the finest acoustic pickers in folk music. He skillfully played the lead notes heard on the B & R albums in the 70's without the fuzz of drums or bass to distract. "Me and My Guitar", Oh My Surprise," and so many other songs had new life as Mark's sweet, deliberate guitar playing took center stage. And John Batdorf's artful lead playing during the triumphant "Can you See Him," may have actually showcased the best licks of the night. That song is among the most powerful in any musical genre.

Yes, it was wonderful to hear the music, but we also took great pleasure in seeing the interplay between these two old friends. The stories shared about their early days, their meetings with Ahmet Ertegen, their partying lifestyle in LA and the life experiences which generated their songs were captivating and humorous. It was a totally satisfying experience.

"Music's here for us to love each day" has been a phrase I've kept in mind since the first time I heard it decades ago. And now, when I think of the line, "All my life, I've waited for this day," from "Home Again," I realize that my musical prayer has been answered. Their performance was superb!!

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