John Batdorf will be in concert at Sundilla on Friday, March 13. Showtime at the AUUF is 7:30; tickets are $12 at the door, but advance tickets are just $10 and are available at Spicer’s Music, Mama Mocha’s Coffee, and online at www.sundillamusic.com. Free coffee, tea, water and food will be available, and the audience is invited to bring whatever food or beverage they prefer.
Every musician starts out with a dream: the dream of having a successful career. For most of them, the dream never comes true. For John Batdorf, it has come true more than once.
In the early 1970s, Batdorf was one-half of the acclaimed duo Batdorf and Rodney. In a dizzying sequence of events they auditioned for Ahmet Ertegun, signed with A&M Records, recorded a debut album in Muscle Shoals, and began playing in front of thousands of rabid fans. Unfortunately, though they retained a cult following, the sales of their two following albums didn’t sell as well as they had hoped, and by the middle of the decade Batdorf and Rodney were no more.
It didn’t take long for Batdorf to re-emerge, this time as the frontman in the group Silver. The mid-to-late 70s might not have been a golden era in music, but Silver achieved some success with the unfortunately titled “Wham Bam (Shang a Lang)” which reached the Top 20 and spent a dozen weeks on the charts. When the 70s were over, Batdorf had spent the decade making records, headlining many shows, and opening for America, Seals and Crofts, Dan Fogelberg, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Fleetwood Mac, The Doobie Brothers, Bread, The Youngbloods, Hall and Oats, Cheech and Chong, England Dan and John Ford Coley, Pure Prairie League, Harry Chapin, John Prine, Dave Mason, Kris Kristofferson just to name a few. Not a bad career.
Batdorf spent the 80’s as a staff songwriter writing songs for America, England Dan, The Curry sisters and Kim Carnes, and as studio singer singing on hundreds of jingles, movies, and TV shows. He sang background vocals on some really great recordings by Rod Stewart, Motley Crue, Dave Mason, Eric Anderson, The Jefferson Starship, Berlin, Donna Summer, Dwight Yoakum, Boy Meets Girl, Mickey Thomas, Stan Ridgeway, James Lee Stanley, David Lee Roth, The London Choir Boys, among others.
Then came the 90’s and he started producing records and commercials. During that time he met Michael McLean; they have since recorded four CDs as the duo Batdorf and McLean. In 1996 his career took another turn, and he spent several years scoring two CBS prime time shows, “Promised Land” and “Touched By An Angel.”
The twisting and turning wasn’t done yet, though the circle was starting to close. A chance performance at a house concert led to a renewed love of performing, and soon he was recording again as well: solo CDs and with James Lee Stanley on the “All Wood and Stones” project, which saw such great success that James Lee and John recorded a second CD, “All Wood and Stones 2.” Also on the list: a live recording with old partner Mark Rodney, which include two new songs.
So the circle is complete, but it hasn’t stopped turning. John released his fourth solo CD in 2011, appeared with Adele at the Oscars in 2013, and recently released a special project with Michael McLean. And of course he’s back on the road, touring the world and brightening the lives of everyone who sees him perform.
Some may ask, what is it about the qualities of John Batdorf that set him apart from other excellent singer-songwriters? It’s his vulnerability, completely opening the door to his heart. John invites the listener into his soul and shares a couple of hours. When you hear John Batdorf sing live for the first time, you’ll understand why his music has meant so much to his fans that have now spanned nearly four decades.
John Batdorf will come to Sundilla on Friday, March 13. Showtime at the AUUF is 7:30; tickets are $12 at the door, but advance tickets are just $10 and are available at Spicer’s Music, Mama Mocha’s Coffee, and online at www.sundillamusic.com. Free coffee, tea, water and food will be available, and the audience is invited to bring whatever food or beverage they prefer. For more information, just go to www.sundillamusic.com.