Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Review9/28/07: Dayton Daily News

Nontraditional radio helps ’70s duo break into mainstream

Dayton Daily News

By Don Thrasher
Contributing Writer
Friday, September 28, 2007

The rigidity of commercial radio playlists has made it possible for only certain old school acts to receive airplay.

However, the rise of satellite and Internet radio stations has given new life to once popular acts that managed to slip through the cracks of mainstream consciousness. That's the case with former Daytonian John Batdorf, who owes his recent career resurgence to the lasting popularity of '70s duo Batdorf & Rodney, which is in heavy rotation on a number of nontraditional radio stations.

"For maybe 25 years you couldn't hear any of that stuff, but the reality is radio is actually playing stuff from those days again," Batdorf said recently, speaking over the telephone from his California home. "When satellite radio came out, I didn't even know what it was, but people started telling me they were hearing Batdorf & Rodney on XM radio. ... At that point the records had not even been re-released. The DJs had taken the records and burned them onto CD."

The objects of fixation for these DJs were the three major label LPs Batdorf & Rodney released in the early to mid-'70s, which were loaded with a folksy blend of mellow, West Coast harmonies and intricate dual acoustic guitar interplay.

Batdorf and Rodney hadn't seen each other since 1985 when they reunited in 2006 to record three cuts for Batdorf's solo album "Home Again." The old friends found the spark still was there and decided to get back together for a brief Midwestern reunion tour, which stops at Canal Street Tavern tonight.

CONTACT contributing arts and music writer Don Thrasher at donaldthrasher8@aol.com.

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