Not all music from the area underground relies on crunch. Chris Batten leans more on rock and roll soul than driving guitars.
After spending his formative years in the New Jersey scene, Batten moved to New York City where he found a warm reception to his acoustic style. But after returning to the Garden State that he fell into the scene centered around New Brunswick’s Court Tavern. It was there, in 2004 where he met the guys that would form Chris Batten & the Woods, delivering a groove somewhere between a contemporary Otis Reading and Van Morrison.
The Woods recorded three EPs and toured the East Coast, opening for everyone from the Dropkick Murphys and New York Dolls to Pete Yorn. Their song “Lions” somewhat of an autobiography on the band’s own history, became a favorite anthem. But after a long successful run, the Woods decided to take a hiatus.
"I just want to put out music that's timeless"
Shortly after that in 2011, Batten started revisiting some old Woods songs and tinkering with some favorites as a true solo artist. There was something very right about returning to his acoustic routes with this new material and Batten has been enjoying that close connection with his songs and his audience ever since. "I just want to put out music that's timeless" Batten says, "With music, there should be no gap, whether it be age, time or genre. People will like something if it speaks to them and I want to speak to everyone… to build a relationship with our audience, not just a one night stand."
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