Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Testimonials from Venues and House Concerts for John Batdorf (an ongoing blog)

John Batdorf KILLED at the Ghost Ranch Saturday night. (9/25/10). A smaller than usual turnout but a better than usual crowd. We had people that "get it". John caught their vibe and played his beautifully written songs better than I've heard him play... and he always plays great. John is not only a pro-entertainer, he is a gentleman, quick wit, and a great American. He is a thoughtful man and a good soul who gives out.

-Dave Chambers
Ghost Ranch House Concert Series, Lake Havasu City, AZ
posted 9-28-10


The music of John Batdorf has always been a part of our lives. From the songs of the 70s with Batdorf & Rodney to his solo career in songwriting, his songs have always been special and always there, if only in the background. As a house concert presenter, I expected yet another great show, but I wasn't prepared for the polished soul-touching concert we had, and for days after I was somewhat awed and overwhelmed as I recalled it, and I thought maybe it was just me. As I spoke with more and more of friends who had been there, I realized that it was universal. We had all been completely blown away! I must warn you though, it is dangerous to see John play. One wants to forsake career and home life to become a John Batdorf groupie. God, I can't wait to see him again... For you who are thinking of having John play, think no more. He's a true pro not only musically, but at making everything run smoothly. John is so approachable, so talented, so warm and friendly...It's like like having your best friend visit...He really is one of the great ones...

-Ben Gangloff
Desert Stars House Concerts
posted 2-27-2010


I'm going to force myself into very uncharacteristic brevity, because it would take volumes to include all the good things I'd otherwise say about John Batdorf. I was a big fan of Batdorf and Rodney -- a group that should have been a MAJOR act in their time -- and when I started my concert series, I hoped to be able to track John down and get him to play for it. He's now done so five times -- in addition to opening for a couple of other acts -- including a Batdorf & Rodney reunion show that, in spite of the many "bigger names" who've played for us, will always be one of THE most special nights of my life as a concert promoter.

And yet, as excellent as John is musically, he's probably ten times as nice a person. I'm proud and honored to have him as a friend.

-Carey Driscoll,
Acoustic Music San Diego


I love John Batdorf. He got Boney Mountain House Concerts off the ground. When I started out, I wasn’t sure who to book. I heard about John and booked him not knowing what to expect. Not only did he put on a great show, but he also brought along James Lee Stanley. I booked James Lee for a future date. John also recommended other artists who I booked. Boney Mountain was off and running. John is a wonderful musician and also a very generous guy who makes a point of helping out his fellow artists. In the process he did our house concerts a big favor.

Steve Brandick


Boney Mountain House Concerts

Summer 2009
John was a real pleasure to work with. A good entertainer, great songs, great voice, good musician. John played unplugged and projected very nicely. He connected with our audience and they really enjoyed his style and particularly his stories. Several commented they really enjoyed his stories about how music is now produced. John writes great lyrics and we encouraged the audience to take particular notice of them. He promptly responded to email. He arrived on time. It's really a plus for us to have John's booking to help establish the reputation for our series. People seem genuinely excited to find out what's next! I would not hesitate to recommend John or to invite him back again.

- B. & P. Hofbaue

Montpelier House Concerts via
the Concerts in Your Home website

John Batdorf played at the Thousand Oaks Library as part of the “Bodie House Music at the Library” series. It was a co-bill with Dan Navarro. I had heard of John’s music since the days of Batdorf and Rodney but I hadn’t heard any of the material he’d written in recent years. It was a wonderful night at all levels. John’s writing, his vocals, and his guitar playing were nothing short of stellar. His song “Will I Love You Forever” is one of the most moving songs you will hear … anytime, anywhere. An added bonus that evening - and evidence of his musicianship - was his ability to harmonize with Dan even though they had never worked together on stage before.

John is a delight to work with. He is a pro in every sense of the word: cooperative, dedicated to his craft, and eager to put on the best show possible. John could very easily rest on his laurels but he is truly one of the hardest working musicians I’ve come to know. Look at his itinerary. He is constantly performing all over the country.

An added personal bonus for me is that in John I’ve found a fishing partner. We’ve been trying for months to find a day when our schedules and the weather will cooperate enough to let us get out and land a few bass or trout. It will happen. But in the meantime, if you have an opportunity to hear John Batdorf – or to book him in your venue – don’t hesitate. Go for it. You won’t be sorry. He’s one of the best.

Steve Brogden, Thousand Oaks, CA
Board member, FAR-West Chair, Best of the West Committee

"Bodie House Music at Thousand Oaks Library"

LA Acoustic Music Festival

Director, Thousand Oaks Library
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

We were fortunate enough to have John Batdorf open our 2009 season of "musical gatherings" here at The Garage Ma Hall in Las Vegas. Two years ago, we booked John and ended up with Batdorf and Rodney! What a show! We have a tough time getting people together here due to the extreme competition we face, but when people began hearing that John Batdorf was playing in Vegas again, we received quite a few emails and phone calls about the show and many wonderful stories of how long they had been a fan and where they saw him perform. John has quite a history in Las Vegas and quite a loyal following!
The audience was taken back about 30 years with John's songs and the stories he had of those days, then he brought us all back to "now" with some of his newest songs. The man really knows how to put on a show! ( and write a song!)
We were thanking people for coming, and they all said, "no, thank YOU for getting him here, we loved every minute!"
John is one of the nicest and most hard working musicians we have met. We would love to have him every year!

Richard and Betty,


We had the opportunity to host John to open our Fall 2008 House Concert series. We were struck with his warmth and professionalism. From the first note our crowd was enthralled. Most were not familiar with his work, but by the end of the show no one would ever forget him. We are strictly an acoustic venue and he has the gift to entertain a crowd in a living room type setting. We welcome him in our home anytime.

--Barbara and Jack,
Kerrville House Concerts


"John Batdorf puts on a truly phenomenal show. You are brought way up and back again into your own heart, riding on the depth of his lyrics. His musicianship puts the final touch on an already amazing performance. The emails just kept coming in after his show here with accolades..."

--Renee Bodie,
Concerts at the Bodie House


John Batdorf is a true professional. His great song writing and performing talents are matched by his professionalism and genuine warmth as a person. John put on a fabulous show here in June 2007. Our fully packed audience was definitely appreciative and couldn't get enough. We hope to be fortunate enough to have him return here someday and highly recommend him to others. Meanwhile, we'll try to catch his great shows whenever we have the chance.

--Russ & Julie,
Russ & Julie's House Concerts


John Batdorf opened our 2008 season on February 2, here at Canyonfolk House Concerts. With an eager sold out crowd and folks in standing room only he put on two absoulutely incredible sets bringing everyone in the audiance to their feet! No one was going to let him leave without an encore and John was happy to give it to them. Our patrons were left feeling great and eager to see him in the future. No one was disappointed and he would be a wonderful addition to anyones venue Big or Small. Anyone who has a pleasure to work with him will find him a joy to be around and very proffesional and he cetainly makes a house concert host and hostess feel very special.
--Bill and Shirlee,


John Batdorf is a rarity - an inherently honest songwriter with the ability to engage an audience from the first note, and embrace them through the last.

-- Greg Newlon,
TrueWind Music


It has been my pleasure to host a couple of house concerts featuring John Batdorf, whose music I've personally loved for many years. Asking me to "review" his concerts is like asking the local golfer what he thinks of Tiger Woods game. A John Batdorf concert is full of "goose bump" moments. Shivers that run with the music, at a certain riff or phrase. Sometimes it is a old familiar song, and then it will be something brand new. It doesn't matter if it is John solo, or John with any one of his musical friends, the feeling always comes through. John is a craftsman at music, and a perfectionist, the combination of which is a guarantee of a remarkable performance.

--Pierre Marchal,
Marchal House Concerts


"John is fantastic, dead-on, and always a warm presence to have around. He's had a long, distinguished career, which makes John perfectly suited for the tell-me-a-story setting of house concerts."

-- Fran Snyder,


James A. Froude once said, "You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one."

This is what John Batdorf has done.

John once told me that he didn't want to just be another folk singer. He definitely was not. He took the acoustic guitar to the limits of creativity. From early on with the open tunings and two part guitar overtones and harmony with Mark Rodney to his more resent solo and collaborating works, he has always marked the path for others to follow. I know because I have been following his musical path for over thirty years and I still learn something new each time I listen to his music. His haunting melodies and moving lyrics are visual and can take you into the song just like a painter takes you into his canvas. A perfect example of this is his song "Ain't It Like Home".

"Falling into water almost over my head, reaching for a branch so I can breath. Need an island to survive hoping soon she will arrive."

John has a true gift of describing human emotion weather it is of love, pain, hope or joy.

I think this is because he is such a down to earth person. He loves his family. He loves to fish and after weeks of touring on the road he is always so glad to be Home Again. Even when you are just hanging around John, he makes you feel at home. He puts all of his emotion and passion into every song. From the intricate finger picking on the guitar to the pounding of his foot, John becomes the song.

His stage presence is relaxed and his stories about the songs are as intriguing as his music. John does not need to resort to rude jokes or foul language to win over his audience. I know that is one of the reasons he is gaining great respect at the house concerts that I have had him perform at. His music is uplifting and I can certainly recommend John to perform for all ages.

John has forged his character, it didn't just happen. His music will continue to impress his fans and friends for years and years to come.

I feel so fortunate to have been able to have John touch my soul and make a difference in my life.

Thirty years ago as a fan, I never would have thought that I would meet John Batdorf and be able to perform with him and Mark Rodney on "All I Need"at the XM studios. I will always be grateful for that opportunity.

It has been one of the highlights of my life and definitely the highlight of my musical career.

In a world where "Something Is Slipping Away" John Batdorf is here to stay.

--Marty DeJarnette
Friend and Fan (and House Concert Presenter)


"I just listened to "Summer of Love" from the new Batdorf & Rodney CD, "Still Burnin"...and it proves one more time, what a consistently great singer/songwriter John Batdorf is, in addition to being an absolute pleasure to work with!"

--Sandy Jacobson, Creator & Producer
BackStage:Los Angeles
"L.A.'s REAL Music Interview Show!"


As a promoter of both house and small arena concerts, I would hire John Batdorf as a solo musical act for all the reasons I have experienced thus far, in dealing with John on this level. John is the consummate professional. His sole performance concern is to guarantee both the audience and promoter, the absolute finest evening of his wide and varied, musical talents, genius and demeanor, to the best of his ability--each and every time! John's efforts and work ethic surpasses even the most prolific of noted celebrity musicians I have ever known. No small detail is left unattended or considered. No matter if the venue is a large, well-known auditorium (such as opening for the well-know group, AMERICA-as he did recently), or playing in front of a smaller crowd at a local Coffee-House, Tavern or "House Concert", one can be assured that John will put his heart and soul into each and every performance, guaranteeing both the promoter and audience that they will enjoy a top-notched, musically entertaining evening. Couple this with the achievements of John's past and present song base and superior acoustical guitar playing techniques, he solidifies his niche as one of the most prolific, acoustical rock pioneers in history. As a promoter or as an avid existing, or "soon-be-be" fan or individual, listening to John for the first time, you will be thankful that there are still musicians out in the world today that play with the love and emotion as John takes so much pride in--the conviction that it is--"all about the music"--something John has never lost focus of, during his long, interesting and successful career.

--Mike Hays Promoter
RMJ Productions

Hmm – I was asked to write something about John Batdorf – something about the qualities that set him apart from other excellent singer-songwriters…

I’d have to say it’s his vulnerability: his innocence, his complete opening the door to his heart. John invites the listener into his soul and shares a couple hours, open and trusting as he sings of love and hope: transforming despair to hope, hate to love and fear/ignorance to tolerance/acceptance. We share his understanding, forgiveness and are filled with compassion when the song is done.

I leave a John Batdorf concert feeling like a kid in a bubble bath with my favorite toys: unconditional curiosity about the world, focusing on the hope. Thanks John.

--Lani Richardson
Snapshotmusic Inc.


John Batdorf, with special guest Mark Rodney, performed at my house concert on October 4, 2007 in Northville, Michigan. The performance was wonderful – strong vocals, outstanding instrumental work, and warm rapport with the audience.

All of our guests loved the show. It was a memorable evening of music and companionship.

--Stan Garfield,
Garfield House Concerts

There's a feeling that oldsters, aged baby boomers, can't recapture the greatness of their youth. I think Batdorf is now BETTER! ....the passion, the desire, IS STILL THERE!

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.

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.

--Bob Lefsetz
in his radio interview blog from June 30th 2007
referencing Johns' appearance
at Russ & Julie's House Concerts on June 11th, 2007