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!