Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Review from 3/30/07 - Dayton Daily News

Dayton Daily News article/review from 3/30/07

John Batdorf: Ex-Beavercreek Resident Keeps Focus on Music

THE DAYTON DAILY NEWS (March 30, 2007)

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.

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