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A man, a guitar and a bagful of the best songs you'll hear today, that' s the simple truth about Danny Schmidt. Oh, and he’s also a genius and that is a view shared by pretty much anyone who has had the privilege to see him. He has a big reputation in the States where Sing Out Magazine described him as "the best new songwriter we've heard in 15 years" and after touring the UK many time since 2001 he has a large following here too. And if you doubt that just listen to ‘Company of Friends’ or ‘Stained Glass’ two of the best songs written by anyone - not to be missed.
Named to the Chicago Tribune's 50 Most Significant Songwriters in the Last 50 Years, Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter Danny Schmidt has been rapidly ascending from underground cult hero to being widely recognised as an artist of generational significance.
He is an authentic timeless troubadour in the tradition of Townes Van Zandt’s ageless and understated sincerity; to Dylan’s topical relevance and wry sharp eye for the allusively obvious; to Dave Carter’s quiet spiritual assurity - and sense that each song was plucked whole from a tree more than laboured through, line-by-line with pen and ink. And it all leaves you with that Leonard Cohen after-taste, that there’s something here worth studying as much as listening to. He delivers his craft with a quiet power, a level of complexity and an underlying humanity that is truly rare in this age of sound bite marketeering.
It's his songwriting which won him the prestigious Kerrville New Folk Award, but it's his intense live performances that leave listeners with a sense that each of his songs is necessary, plain and simple. His guitar work is effortless and sparkling, his arrangements are fresh and unpredictable, his voice ageless. Stylistically and musically, Danny’s writing spans an impressively diverse reach, from deeply-rooted Appalachian mountain gospel to haunted English balladry, from syncopated Piedmont country blues to vagabond 60’s protest folk-stumpery.
He tackles universal themes of love, loss and longing . . . restless discontent and grateful joy. And he captures both the sorrow and the beauty inherent in our everyday lives with the wisdom of a perceptive, compassionate elder and with the innocent awe and tenderness of a child. During his career he has written some of the finest and most inspiring songs to have emerged over the past 20 years including two, ‘Company of Friends’ and ‘Stained Glass’ that are now counted as classics.
In the words of Sing Out Magazine: "He is perhaps the best new songwriter we've heard in the last 15 years." And in the words of Texas Monthly: "With seductive simplicity, his music simply demands your attention."
"Everything about the man is gentle, except his capacity for
insight, which is crushing." Songwriter Jeffrey Foucault
"I've not felt a performance with this much intensity since I saw Neil Young solo years ago, nor have I heard songwriting with this much subtlety of craftsmanship since Leonard Cohen. I was completely floored." Henri Simmons, the Filter
"Very few people in this world can captivate an audience with just a voice and a guitar the way Carrie Elkin can." Matthew Toledo, Athens Music Network
"He is, perhaps the best new songwriter I've heard in the last 15 years." Rich Warren, Sing Out! Magazine
"In his use of parable and allegory, there are inevitable comparisons with Cohen and Dylan, but these are songs of such quality and beauty that they more than hold their own in this exalted company." 5* Maverick Magazine
"In today's underground folk world, Danny Schmidt is spoken of in reverent tones, drawing comparisons to Leonard Cohen, with a poetry that breathes naturally and without pretension, with results that are both attractive and intense." Jim Caligiuri, Austin Chronicle
"This songsmith has been churning out brilliant, poetic songs on the human condition coupled with dazzling technique on his guitar strings for almost a decade." Jay Trachtenberg, KUT Radio in Austin
"Danny Schmidt's done it again. One of the country's best singer-songwriters has released yet another masterpiece." Les Reynolds, Indie-Music.com
"With beautifully crafted, lonesome pines music and complex beguiling words, he would've fitted neatly on the bill at any '60s coffee house alongside Townes Van Zandt or Leonard Cohen." Andy Fyfe, Q Magazine
"The songs are fascinating and intriguing, even mysterious. The singing is warm and unassuming, letting the stories lead him. The melodies are captivating. And the writer is gifted. Go find Danny Schmidt and listen." Marilyn Rea Beyer, WUMB Radio in Boston
2015 Owls - to be released in spring
2014 For Keeps (joint album with Carrie Elkin)
2011 Man Of Many Moons
2009 Instead The Forest Rose To Sing
2007 Little Grey Sheep
2005 Parables & Primes
2003 Make Right the Time
2011 Enjoying the Fall
1999 Live at the Prism Coffeehouse
Compilations: (Danny’s songs have featured on many artist’s records – below are just a few)
Uncut – tribute to Bob Dylan
Songs For Laura - Volume One
Waterbug Records - Compilation 8
King Of My Living Room
Thinking About Bob Dylan