What the Fans Are Saying About HOME AGAIN

John Batdorf Brings Us Home Again, April 13, 2007 – from Amazon.com

Reviewer: The Soft Needle (University Heights, Ohio)
This is a really a terrific CD from John Batdorf. It’s deep, features two of his most memorable B & R songs in “Home Again” and “Ain’t It Like Home” and just resonates with the beauty and the magic he first shared with us over 30 years ago. And, after 30+ years of waiting, we had the great pleasure of seeing him in Kent, Ohio for a solo show. He was superb. This CD is really the essence of what make John so much fun to listen to and take in. The acoustic guitar is memorable and distinctive. His voice is clear, harmonies are beautiful, and the lyrics are either loving or biting, depending on what the song’s message is. And when I say “deep”, the songs are strong throughout. Few throw-aways here, and there shouldn’t be, because Mr. Batdorf hasn’t been nearly as consistent with his CD releases as we’d like him to be. Know that his Batdorf and McLean CDs are excellent, but this one is really a return to the feel of Batdorf & Rodney, while giving us the full measure of just what a strong and gifted artist John is. Thanks, John, for reminding us how great it is to hear your brand of acoustic folk or acoustic rock, depending on your mood. Now, if you could just see your way to give us a remake of “Can You See Him,” I could go to heaven fulfilled.

Reviewer: Cassidy – from Amazon.com. Cross-posted to CD-Baby
Home Again: Every Song Is Worth It, March 23, 2007
This is one of the best, most cohesive albums I’ve heard in a long time. The lyrics and melodies are equally strong, and I was pleased to see that it held up to the praise I’d heard. The acoustic introduction to “Home Again” is a wonderful beginning, and the clarity on John’s vocal here is admirable. It makes the song believable. It’s not often that one feels this way in life, and it’s great to hear it expressed in song. My favorite line from “Home Again” is: “Now I’m sought instead of chasing.”

“Me and You” is a nice nod to groups like Buffalo Springfield from the mid-’60s. I still can’t get over how much John sounds like Graham Nash. I see a lot of CSN parallels in this album.

“I Don’t Always Win” has incredible lyrics that keep a balance between honesty and hope. I think of those I know who have dealt with addiction, and in my opinion, John captured this feeling quite well.

The simple acoustic feel of “Ain’t It Like Home” is something I don’t hear very often anymore, and it’s a brilliant vocal and a nice precursor to “Home Again” (even if the other was written first). “Ain’t It Like Home” is still looking for home, and the latter has found it.

I absolutely love the lyrics to “Solitude”. There are people who constantly miss chances, overwhelmed by stimuli and the demands placed upon them. And sometimes they have a lot of trouble escaping that mindset, even though they wish they could do something about it.

“I Never Wanted” is another one of my favorites. This is a theme often seen in life, but not usually expressed this well in song. There are more striking lyrics here: “I said I never wanted love / But love is the only thing I need.”

For someone who didn’t want to write an angry song, John and Michael McLean did a fantastic job. The guitar on the chorus of “Can’t Be Trusted” especially stands out.

Another favorite of mine is “Something is Slipping Away”. I’m fonder of earlier decades than my own, and there’s another great lyric here: “And the greatest prize before our eyes / Is given to those who can take without having to give.” It’s ironic but true. This song has a wonderful melody, too.

“One Night Stands” is really a very clever lyric, and I have to agree with Michael McLean: this *is* the one that gets stuck in my head the most. I’d love to hear this live; I’ll bet it draws a real crowd response.

“Where Are You Now?” reminds me a little of the Blue Jays’ (Justin Hayward/John Lodge) “Who Are You Now” because they touch on the same theme. Since much of “Home Again” looks back at the past, it makes sense to close with this one.

What really struck me about this album is that I enjoy every single song on it. Not one is filler. I haven’t heard all of John’s music yet, but I’d have to say that this is my favorite so far.

Reviewer: David Porter (Tucson) — February 14th. 2007 — from Amazon.com
When I got this a couple weeks ago I immediately listened to it twice–it’s that good. I’ve been a fan since the early ’70s and used to play some B&R songs. The song writing is strong. The melodies are carefully worked out. This is a beautiful album. If you’re in any way familiar with Batdorf songs or Batdorf and Rodney albums, you’ll love this stuff. This record is a consistent pleasure to listen to. A couple old songs get a new treatment and sound thoroughly fresh. Don’t miss this one.

Best music by John Batdorf ever, February 11, 2007
Mark Klaesener (St.. Peters, Missouri) – From Amazon.com
Home Again by John Batdorf is by far the best music John has put out solo or with Batdorf & Rodney. The remake of Home Again as the title song will knock your socks off. And it was nice to hear Mark Rodney play on the song too, I didn’t think they could remake the song better but John & Mark blew the old version away and I did not think that was possible. The whole CD is packed with great songs, This is John’s best work ever and once you listen to it you will not put it away. It’s been in my car CD player since I bought it and still enjoying it now. John is touring right now if you get the chance to see him live don’t pass it up you will regret it later.

Welcome back, Batdorf & Rodney, February 7, 2007
Reviewer: Jun Yamaya “j-boy” (Tokyo, Japan) – from Amazon.com

This is the first full-length solo album from John Batdorf, one half of the 70’s folk-rock duo Batdorf & Rodney and a member of Silver. He has been making great music all throughout the years, but this is by far his best. Pleasant surprise is the appearance of Mark Rodney on two songs, for the first time in 30 years since B&R called it quits. Both of these songs (Home Again and Where Are You Now) are re-recordings of old B&R songs but they are a lot better. Just listen to the firing acoustic groove of Home Again! Amazing these guys out-shined themselves after such a long hiatus.

These B&R songs are naturally the high points of the album but the rest (including another old B&R song, Ain’t It like Home) is just as good and enjoyable acoustic music. You won’t be disappointed.

February 3rd, 2007
Welcome back! Song 1 is of course better than ever, 3,5,6,7,&10 are equally vintage B & R. Attached is a picture of my D-35 with my thoughts about where you should go with this recaptured sound. Your harmony with Mark is so refreshing with today’s music I can only say thank you and do more! I also thought the words were inspirational and at 55 myself, I have to say they were meaningful.
Great job and keep picking!
AJ Peterson

Press Reviews for “Home Again”

Press Reviews

John Batdorf: Keeps Focus on Music
Dayton Daily News
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.

Sacramento Bee 4-star review of Home Again
Sacramento Bee
Published 12:00 am PST Sunday, March 4, 2007
CD review: John Batdorf, Home Again
Batmac Music, 4 stars
By Jim Carnes – Bee Staff Writer
The Sacramento Bee
More than three decades after putting an end to Batdorf and Rodney, John Batdorf and Mark Rodney are singing together again — and it’s great. Just like old times. Except with a maturity of songwriting on Batdorf’s part that imbues this set with warmth and depth. Batdorf refers to “Home Again” as “the Batdorf and Rodney album that was never made,” which is sure to delight a bunch of old fans. It includes three songs from the duo’s days together — the title track, which is performed here in a version that’s even better than the original; “Ain’t It Like Home,” which Batdorf performs as a solo; and “Where Are You Now,” a duet that has never appeared on a studio album — plus seven new songs.
Those two “home” songs are a clue to a major theme of this set. It’s about finding a place of safety and comfort. Other fine songs include “Solitude,” “Me and You” and “One Night Stands,” which is only about extramarital affairs in that it’s about a performer’s love of his music and the one-night concert stands on the road. This is a really fine collection.

Earbuzz Review HOME AGAIN
earBuzz Review: John Batdorf’s most recent offering is “Home Again”, a collection of 10-tunes that run the emotional gambit from poetic dedications to peace and love to the darker analysis of human relationships and politics. The record opens with “Home Again”, a Batdorf and Rodney beloved tune. The wonderful thing about music is that it is completely free to be redefined and done with newness and “Home Again” is one of those tunes. Batdorf’s keen sense of harmony has CSN timbres that were stylized synchronistically and could as easily be called Batdorf timbres. But, here you have it, acoustic guitar advanced performing along with four-part clear harmonies within tunes that are written by an artist. Track 2, “Me and You”, is a bluegrass groove that celebrates the relationship that takes two hearts and two minds and equal one thinking and one beat. The harmonic complexity continues with “I Don’t Always Win”. The self-deprecating raw and poignant picture of the reality of life’s ups and downs is touching and as honest as anything we’ve heard. Batdorf sings, ‘still that sweet companion when i feel abandoned, keeps poisoning this canyon called my life’. The insight and depression revealed continues in “Something is Wrong”. Batdorf sings of the race to go nowhere that can be for the listener a realty-check not only for political topics, but also personal references as a companion to ‘win’. The final track, “Where Are You Now”, is an acoustic guitar trance and mystic revelation as Batdorf leaves the listener with something to ponder at the end of this records’ journey and delivers it with a firm foundation in mature adult and kind artistry.

Home Again
Review by RadioIndy / POSTED ON: 23 Apr 2007
“Home Again” by John Batdorf, is a very impressive acoustic adult rock CD. The CD is filled with impressive acoustic guitar work, which sounds really good on this recording. John’s vocals are especially beautiful on this CD, and include rich harmonies on many tracks. The recording quality is crystal clear, which is especially effective on this acoustic, unplugged CD, and allows the lyrics to cut through nicely. The songwriting combines well thought-out and thought-provoking lyrics combined with memorable choruses. “Home Again,” the title track, combines memorable acoustic guitar work and a memorable chorus, with a powerful lyrical message. “Me and You” includes clever lyrics and nice 2-part harmonies. “Something Is Slipping Away” is a remarkably beautiful song. The up-tempo “One Night Stands” is one of our favorite tracks, with it’s hook-filled chorus. If you enjoy acoustic adult rock artists of the 60s and early 70s, such as Crosby, Stills, & Nash, you will enjoy this CD. Pick up a copy today!
– Review by RadioIndy staff

Chris Spector/Midwest Record Recap
Funny thing about the music biz that never changes, you can have all the auspicious beginnings you want but the next step is to get hot or go home. 35 years after putting Batdorf & Rodney to rest after some of the most auspicious beginnings, Batdorf catches up with his roots and re-examines the cult band that faded away but didn’t die. After moving on and successfully wearing other hats, a spate of reissues caused Batdorf and Rodney to come to light again and was the genesis of this set that brings old and new together. Even 35 years on, Batdorf is running with the heart of a kid and adds wisdom to the old songs while adding wonder to the new. A singer/songwriter with more on the ball than a lot of today’s crop, this set is a welcome return home again. Whether an old or new fan, it’s well worth checking out.

Home Again (A rating)
Jim Trageser Staff Writer North County Tribune
John Batdorf

BatMac Music/Indy

Half of the underappreciated ’70s folk-rock duo Batdorf and Rodney, singer-songwriter John Batdorf has a new album out that recalls the heyday of the acoustic guitar backing vocal harmonies age. Eight new songs and rerecorded versions of a couple of old Batdorf and Rodney staples, “Home Again” is as fun an album as Batdorf has ever been involved with.

Fans of the old duo will be delighted to see Mark Rodney on harmony vocals both on a revamped version of “Home Again,” as well as on “Where Are You Now?,” which has been available only on the “Live at McCabes” album. Both tracks stand among the very best the two have done together, and hearing them together again after 30 years is truly a treat.

Fans of Batdorf’s more recent recordings will be glad to know that he’s joined here by collaborators James Lee Stanley and Bill Batstone. Stanley, in particular, provides a ready foil to Batdorf’s own guitar work. And Batdorf’s two sons, Brett and Matt, provide some harmony vocals as well, adding a familial touch.

Batdorf’s singing is better than ever, his songwriting as strong as always, the supporting cast outstanding.

Anyone who digs the acoustic singer-songwriter school of ’70s folk rock is likely to enjoy the groove Batdorf and Co. have laid down here.