Next Stop, Willoughby….The New CD From John Batdorf

JOHN BATDORF: Next Stop, Willoughby

The latest album from John Batdorf is Next Stop, Willoughby. He has been in the music biz for 50 years, doing just about everything—as a hot new talent with a big label contract, a session musician with artists as varied as Jefferson Starship, Rod Stewart, Motley Crue, and Adele, and working as a staff writer for network television. He also has released many albums both as a solo artist and with others, including James Lee Stanley and Michael McLean. His songs are primarily acoustic pop and soft rock, which use his upper register vocals to anchor plenty of sharp, tight vocal harmonies. The ten tunes are written by Batdorf and McLean; Batdorf plays the instruments, produces, and mixes—and it is slick and solid throughout. While its upbeat nature might give the impression that Batdorf’s music is lightweight, it is probably fairer to say that he includes some introspective songs and even protests, he just doesn’t do them in a strident manner.

“Willoughby” opens, about the Twilight Zone TV episodes from his youth, especially one that concerned a character’s idyllic home town: “We’re as happy as can be/ ‘Cause we’re here in Willoughby.” Batdorf keeps pushing the positive buttons on “I’m In Love With You” and “Don’t It Make You Wonder Why,” both of which are floating pop confections that sing love’s praises with heavenly backing vocal harmonies and catchy hooks.

He is down on his luck for “Sure Could Use Some Love,” which makes more of an impression. He has had some bad breaks and is feeling sad, but the sun is still shining—he just wants it to shine on him. The spare instrumentation here and elsewhere keeps the focus squarely on Batdorf’s impressive voice. “They Can’t Have Everything” has a beat and an attitude, about the one percent robbing from society; Batdorf fudges the spots where a profanity would fit the rhymes—he will do protest, but not use four letter words. It still is a highlight here, grounded in the real world.

The second half of the album is where it shines. On “Take a Good Look at You Now” Batdorf tells the listener to look within, “Have you forgotten who you are/ Have you drifted off too far?/ Have you lost your guiding star?” The song has some good up-tempo energy behind it, helping to push its message forward. Another tune late in the program that sinks in is “I Remember You,” which has the catchiest hook on the album and uses a full-band arrangement to drive it home. The best slow and quirky tune on this album is “The One That Got Away,” which has an interesting, haunting guitar figure, while unhurried fingerpicked guitars lay down verses that give Batdorf a chance to sing about regrets: “Things I know are all on me/ and I know I can’t undo the consequences.” It is a delicate and involving highlight.

Next Stop, Willoughby is more good pop from John Batdorf, a polished master of the form.

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The New Solo CD From John Batdorf, Beep Beep”.

Never in my wildest dreams as a young recording artist in the ’70s, could I have ever imagined myself at age 63 still writing, recording and still making records. That’s where the path has taken me and I am so glad that I followed it. There is so much joy in creating music with just a guitar and an idea and after the re-writes and ultimate recording of the song, much like a birth of a child, finally gets it’s wings about nine months later and is shared with anyone who wants to let it in! Thank you all for following me on this wonderful musical journey and I will continue down this musical path as long as I still feel that euphoric fire burning in my heart. Thank you all for supporting me for a lifetime!

John Batdorf

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Imagination Of The Heart

One of the great things about living to age 63 is experiencing the extreme joy of having grandchildren. For some reason, my grandchildren are way more fun than my two boys were! Being around them immediately took me back to my own memories those years and inspired this song. The things we believed in when we were young can remain in our hearts for a lifetime and help to guide us and stay with us till we die. It’s so much fun to pass it on to the little ones!!!

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Win A Private House Concert!

                                                                               Hometown Social Club
Enjoy singer songwriters from the 70s? Win an exclusive private house concert with John Batdorf and invite you and you
friends to chat with you and John during and after the concert!
Share with fellow Boomer friends who you’d want to hang out with at the concert and you will have more chances to win.

We have a public leaderboard. The most friends shared receives a very special prize.

There’s no limit to how many friends you invite to enter! Good luck!

Check the leaderboard by clicking “Your Referral Link” at the top of this page.
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John Batdorf_”Beep Beep” CD Kickstarter Campaign

Ever since I was a young boy, the music in my head has never stopped. I am constantly “hearing” melodies, lyrics or just plain old great song concept ideas. Songwriters don’t really know where the ideas come from, we just feel blessed to receive them and it’s our great privilege to complete the songs with the craft we have refined through the decades and share the music with the rest of the world. Often times the songs are meant for someone we might not ever meet and may have a positive impact their life so it’s vital that we deliver the goods!

Photo by Henry Diltz 1972
Photo by Henry Diltz 1972

As my songwriting buddy Michael McLean puts it, “we don’t really own these songs, we just get to hear them first. Makes sense to me! Well I have 11 more songs that I feel really great about written by me and or with Michael McLean and Bill Batstone.

John Batdorf and Michael McLean
John Batdorf and Michael McLean
John Batdorf with Bill Batstone
John Batdorf with Bill Batstone

The songs are well into the recording process and with your help and support, the record should be done in another month or so. I have been recording now for over six months and wrote all of the songs in the last 12 months. I am very pleased with the way it is coming out. All my lead vocals and guitars are done and I have recruited some stellar talent to offer their incredible singing and playing skills. Bill Batstone, bass and vocals…..Chad Watson, bass…..Michael Dowdle, electric guitars and mandolin…Bill and Arlene Kole, vocals….Gary Falcone, vocals……Dane Pearlman….pedal steel and lap steel.

There will undoubtedly be a few more folks added and then it’s time to mix, master and release!! I hope to raise enough funds to give the record proper respect and hire a radio promotions expert and PR team.

Please be a part of the continuing musical journey I am so honored to have been on since I was a teenager. Thank you all in advance for supporting indie music. There are many great artists out there that many of you have never heard of, but just because they are not famous doesn’t mean they are not great!!

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FrontCover copy

For many recovering addicts it’s in rehab they discover there are often musical triggers to their abuse, (the songs associated with using) and then they have to learn how to avoid those triggers that are essentially the soundtrack to their addiction.Last year, some addiction recovery sponsors found out that John Batdorf and I were working on a project with the working title of 12 songs for 12 steps and asked if we’d do a concert for several recovering addicts. Turns out it was about 700 addicts and their families who attended. The concert gave John and I a chance to see if our songs made a difference with the audience. We were overwhelmed with the feedback we got that evening. The show received a tremendous response, people waiting in line for nearly an hour to thank us, and after receiving several hand written notes from addicts at the show saying “please hurry and get these songs recorded” we realized that the need was great and the urgency even greater.

John and I are singer/songwriters with a passion to let the power of music help people trying to change. We’ve been wearing out our lives the last forty plus years as professional songwriters hoping to make a difference. Although we understand we’re not the only guys who have songs that could help, we want to get the ball rolling.

One of the reasons we are passionate about doing this project is because it’s hit very close to home. In each of our families we’ve seen the devastation that comes from addiction, in any of its forms. We’ve worked our entire professional careers in a business where all too often substance abuse, drugs and alcohol, and any other form of addiction has destroyed lives. We’re not trained therapists, we don’t have degrees in social work, but we know what we’ve seen and we want to do what we can. Writing songs aimed at penetrating hearts is something we can do. And getting these songs recorded and made available for those who need them most has been more important to us than simply searching for yet another way to climb up the music charts. Somewhere at this very moment there’s an addict trying to hold on a few more hours until his next AA meeting, or her next appointment with a sponsor, and it feels like an eternity. We might be able to offer a little help, even when we can’t physically be there for them. You might be thinking, “come on, it’s only a song”. But it’s more than that. If someone somewhere can hear a song tell them the truth the only way their heart will hear it, maybe then they’ll know, deep down, they’re not alone.

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2Recovery….Because Everybody Is Recovering From Something

If you have ten minutes, please watch this video and share as much feedback as you can. It’s important to us that we are on track. Don’t be afraid to be critical, we are grateful for any and all opinions.

John Batdorf and Michael McLean


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