(Ithaca Journal - February 21, 2017)
Janet Batch’s ‘Good Woman’
Sunday, Janet Batch will release her debut CD, “A Good Woman is Hard to Find,” at the Range.
Janet Batch is the stage name for the singer-songwriter, who said the name came to her in a dream in 2010. “I started using that name as a way to make art and share it without telling anyone who I was,” she said in a recent interview. “It gave me a layer of protection while building my confidence up.”
A native of the Utica area, Batch attended Ithaca College. She said that she’s been writing songs and poetry since she was a small child. “But I didn’t really start doing it with any kind of intention until around 2012-13,” she said.
That’s about the time she met Jen Cork, a fellow songwriter, and started playing music informally. Trevor Thorpe soon joined in, and eventually they formed a band and recorded the new album in Thorpe’s studio in Spencer.
"We holed up in his cabin for a weekend and just dug into it,” she said. “I had never done it before, so it was learn as you go for me. But it was very collaborative. We tried whatever we felt like trying and decided to keep what we liked.”
Batch’s vocal and songwriting style leans in a rootsy direction; some of her songs, especially the minor-key ones, recall Eilen Jewell.
“Most of my influences were country and folk,” she said. “I grew up listening to all the stuff on the radio, like pop and rock and roll. But when I write it comes out country, like Johnny Cash. My other influence would be Patty Griffin — I love her writing style, especially how she sometimes writes from a male perspective. I’ve done that on some songs, though not on this album. It’s another layer of removing yourself from the storytelling part.”
Batch said she’s written a bunch of new songs since finishing the album, and she’ll be playing some of them at Sunday night’s show, at which she’ll be joined by most of the people on the album: Cork, Barry Miller, Matt Cowan and Alejandra Diemecke. (Thorpe now lives in Hawaii, so he’ll be replaced by Mike Brando on bass.) There’s a small cover charge for the 8 p.m. show, which features Josh Ross of Kitestring as the opening act.
Excerpt from Ithaca Journal Article featuring "The Jimmies" - Awards for "best of" in local music of Ithaca (published January 10, 2018)
Honorable Mention BEst album
Pelotones, “Let’s Ride”; Answer the Muse, “now”; Trevor Thorpe, “HipHoptical”; Janet Batch, “A Good Woman is Hard to Find”; “Arise & Go, “Arise & Go”; Brian Spencer Blues Project, “Brian Spencer Blues Project”; Bendher, “Insanity”; Kurt Riley, “Tabula Rasa”; Austin MacRae, “Keeper”; Mary Bentley, “Ladder”; Ryan Vanderhoof, “My Heart is in the Highlands”; Zingology, “Nuages”; Casey Max and the DixieKats, “Struttin’ With Some BBQ.”
LaTrece Stevenson, Stone Cold Miracle. One of the best singers I’ve ever heard, Stevenson’s powerful voice always immediately grabs attention with its blend of gospel and soul influences and passionate delivery.
Honorable Mention: Angie Beeler, a.k.a. Angela Marion; Emily Hoyt, Viva Mayhem; Jay Spaker, Double Tiger; Mandy Goldman, Noon Fifteen; Amanda Massa, Thru Spectrums; Janet Batch; Alyssa Duerksen, Lady D & the Shadow Spirits; Julia Felice, the Whiskey Crisis; Rob Angel, Bendher; Rochelle Mathis, Crucial Reggae Social Club; Stephanie Agurkis, Mutron Warriors.
Richie and Rosie, “Nowhere in Time”; Viva Mayhem, “Poltergeist”; Angela Marion, “Ain’t Nothin’ To It”; Tenzin Chopak, “Stay Close To Me”; Thru Spectrums, “Juniper in Spring”; Anna Coogan, “Meteor”; Julia Felice and the Whiskey Crisis, “Ruination Queen” and “Help Me Break”; Janet Batch, “Nobody Loves Me”; Big Mean Sound Machine, “Van Chatter”; Stone Cold Miracle, “You Gotta Hold On”; Tom Mank and Sera Smolen, “Unlock the Sky”; The Pelotones, “I’m Gonna Get Laid Tonight.”