"Danny Schmidt is a force of nature: a blue moon, a hundred-year flood, an avalanche of a singer-songwriter. His songs are a flood of poetry, mythology, folk wisdom, and surprise."
Danny plays a guitar as natural as he breathes. He has some seriously tasty songs and a debut CD mesmerizes.
The best of the new poet songwriters, Danny Schmidt is incomparable, and a can't-miss performer. Dannys guitar playing is exceptional, every melody could be appreciated even if there were no words. But Danny is much better known (and very widely) for his poignant lyrics. His poetry is complex but accessible. It draws you deeply in, creating wonder but resolving in the end with a moral, or with the listener feeling as if that they had just heard the truth."
"Danny is unanimously regarded as incredible, if not unbelievable, if not just plain beautiful -- an astounding guitar player, a monumental blues man, and a true poet (if the wind can be called a poet)."
"The best songwriter since the late Dave Carter. He's an unsung sensation. An overlooked gem. This cannot be said too loudly or provocatively: Danny Schmidt is a profound talent. The kind that makes a new discoverer of his artistry wonder how it was possible not to have known of him before. His acolytes, including moi, have no answer to that riddle but are always happy to spread the faith."
"Everything about the man is gentle, except his capacity for insight, which is crushing.
"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."
"Danny Schmidt's outstanding . . . one of the best songwriters I've ever heard. Every word."
"Danny Schmidt's done it again. One of the country's best singer-songwriters has released yet another masterpiece."
"Little Grey Sheep, the new record by Austin-based singer-songwriter Danny Schmidt is the best of the new year. His songs are as literate, and can be as funny and clever, as anyone else in the songwriting racket today."
"Danny Schmidt parlays an aggressive acoustic guitar style and a yearning, yowling vocal delivery into a unique charisma that's both evocative and oddly comforting. Like Richard Thompson and Townes Van Zandt, Schmidt writes with a clarity that's never verbose or flashy, just simple words attempting to unearth simple truths."
Danny Schmidts album is pure brilliance. Its one my favorites, lyrically, ever. Ever.
"Perhaps the most poetic and powerful singer-songwriter album of the past 20 years. His ability with words and melodies continues to amaze me."
His guitar playing is nothing short of superlative, and his calm gentle demeanor evokes the wisdom of an old-growth forest. His songs can be veiled and coded, yes, and also increasingly rich and mature, spotlighting Danny's subtle lyrical genius and cathartic fingerpicking.
Danny Schmidt was right on time, everybody's underdog hero, fingerpicking with his eyes closed, an icon to oddball integrity in this gathering of the undersung. His songwriting peaks with an insight and an almost magical lyrical inventiveness.
It's honest, bare bones storytelling at it's best. It's such a warm and inviting recording, you're waiting for the audience's applause after each track.
"A righteous artist dealing in the rough, beautiful truth. If you love a good song, he's a major find."
"Danny is a really captivating talent, with an intensely literate take on things that at times recalls that of Josh Ritter but if anything encompasses a wider stylistic range and an arguably even greater sense of poeticism. His songs are characterized by an easy kind of poetry that seems to just spill off the end of his pen fully formed, and delivered in a winning kind of unassuming but entirely confident soft drawl that beguiles the ear with little apparent effort and draws the intellect in with its spun word-patterns."
"Pure joy! Little Grey Sheep will enhance Schmidt's reputation as a wise soul, a wiseass, an incomparable wordsmith, and one hell of a songwriter. Buy the records and thank me later."
Funny and wise at the same time . . . Schmidt seems to have a patent on this type of song. Intelligent, yet at the same time, sensitive and warm. After youve heard a Schmidt album a few times, you feel like youve found a new friend.
Little Grey Sheep confirms for me that Danny is one of the most talented songwriters out there these days and really deserves wider recognition. This is highly literate stuff with just a whiff of Townes Van Zandt and Dave Carter. The song on Little Grey Sheep called Company Of Friends has become an instant classic on The Folks Like Us program in Detroit.
"With an evident gift for words that immediately draws in the listener, Schmidt makes a case for his place alongside singer-songwriters such as Townes Van Zandt, Todd Snider, Greg Brown, Robert Earl Keen, and even Leonard Cohen. Little Grey Sheep is Schmidt's fifth album. It's left me smitten and looking forward to numbers six, seven and beyond."
"Little Grey Sheep is another great mystical exploration from Schmidts growing repertoire. He wades into the murky end of the pool where few tend to travel these days. It is these mystical and somewhat cryptic explorations that are his strongest territory, both musically and lyrically. It is here, wading in the murk where his guitar work and singing style overlap in a cosmic event, that weaves us a timeless reminder of the human condition."
An emerging folk-blues legend, he reduces grown men to tears.
"There is a bit of Nick Drake and Woody Guthrie mixed with somebody's grandpa who lives in the mountains and sits and sings on the porch all day. Not that he seems especially old, but rather timeless.
"More than a pleasant surprise, Danny Schmidt was no less than a revelation to me. And that's not a word I use lightly."
Parables & Primes is without a doubt a fabulous collection of songs which, in a fairer world, would make this man instantly world-famous. Sometimes pure storytelling, sometimes didactical and philosophizing, Schmidt displays one rough diamond after the other -- as beautiful as they are surprising. In our opinion, Parables & Primes simply has everything to become, in time, a real modern folk singer-songwriter classic.
"Danny Schmidt is dazzling and poetical . . . bitingly relevant and eminently hummable."
Phenomenally acute and sensitive guitar, with perfect touches of vocal color and harmony.
"One artist that I guarantee you will be hearing more from is Danny Schmidt. His music is inspiring and complex, with an incredible sense of imagery and mysticism. He is not to be missed!!!"
Regardless of the historic respect I owe him, Dylans album this year will come after Danny Schmidts. He, literally, bewitches his audience.
Danny Schmidt brilliantly embraces the contradictions of modern life -- with heartbreaking love songs followed by biting philosophical commentary, plain-strummed ballads followed by virtuoso fingerpicking. An exciting, powerful, and touching recording. Highly recommended.
He takes familiar themes and images and makes them his own, with characters and images that ring true because they are as idiosyncratic and contradictory as we are. It's these contradictions that Schmidt meditates upon, and his singing beautifully communicates the resigned/hopeful, sad/funny nuances in his lyrics.
He's as witty as a Cafe Wha?-era Dylan, his voice expressive and world-weary as an Appalachian plowman.
"I'm totally knocked out by the tunes. As bold and different and secure and sincere as anything I've heard in awhile. A long while."
"A contemplative soul to whom words come easily and devotions run deep, he has the ability to weave humor, sadness, celebration, and contemplation into a profoundly beautiful web."
A troubador of such subtle magic that only by being in the moment can we join along on this journey of a loving soul.
"I have rarely, if ever, been so moved or impressed by an artist as I have by Danny Schmidt. Check him out, no matter what kind of music you like, check him out! I guarantee you, if you don't, you are missing one of life's treats."
Danny Schmidts a remarkable songwriter with a gift for craft; the kind of artist that revitalizes the idea of singer-songwriter relevancy. His live shows are reportedly intense and passionate affairs, and come highly recommended from many sources.
Austin,TX.s Danny Schmidt is a phenomenal acoustic guitarist/songwriter who draws comparisons to Neil Young and Leonard Cohen.
"Sweet, loving, and joyous . . . the whole album is a treat and shouldn't be passed by."
Seeing Danny Schmidt live is a spiritual journey through the human experience that is nothing less than cathartic. His sincerity, poetry, and passion bring me to tears every time I listen.
"As a capacity crowd assembled, Austin, Texas-based Danny Schmidt could have been forgiven for viewing his boisterous captive audience as something of a mixed blessing, but it's greatly to his credit that, armed only with a chair and his acoustic guitar, this remarkable young singer-songwriter stilled the room with the quality of his six-song support set. With an effortlessly fluid guitar technique, a distinctive and mellifluous voice, and an articulate way with words that's at once thoughtful, poetic, moral and witty, Danny emerged as one of those artists whose CDs, for all their engaging quirkiness, only really make sense after you've seen him play live."
A Brilliant Poet! Danny Schmidt deserves all of the accolades that he has received from critics, DJs and other songwriters. He is hands-down one of the best singer-songwriters I have ever heard.
A clever turn of phrase turns Dannys seemingly simple and straightforward lyrics into intriguingly evocative prose of metaphoric depth and wit. Impassioned and inventive guitar performance frames his atmospheric modern folk music with indelible melodies.
He does some dazzling guitar work, and his songs are exceptional, often slightly or wildly out of the box, but not to be missed.
Choosing a language that is subtle, imagistic and yet intrinsically moral, he imbues these songs with a sense of personal pathos that removes the issues from the politics of the headlines and brings them back home to whence they sprang in the first place. It's this elemental beauty -- the way the guitar feels tuned to the chords of the central nervous system, the way Schmidt and Wood's voices interact knowingly -- that sets this music apart. If there's a better local release this year, I'll be surprised (and thrilled to hear it).
Schmidt shows himself to be a mature songwriter, one capable of creating vivid vignettes about the intricacies of life, and his gruff/sweet twang suits the role of country bard very well, indeed. In the same way that labeling artists pigeonholes them, classifying Schmidt's music as folk would be doing him a disservice. Call it instead Natural music -- music that captures everyday life in a form so easy to grasp, it comes with handles.
One of my favorite singer-songwriters. A haunting, ageless voice; melodies that are both simple & original; wry, moving lyrics; a guitar style that's as organic as it is unpredictable. What force is he tapping into, anyway?"
Hes truly a poet. For some reason I just feel enveloped by his music. I don't know, maybe it's the sincerity? The sensitivity? I really don't know exactly. It just seems to hit home when I hear it.
"Furthered both by his mystical lyrics and the stories told in between the songs, each of these tunes was the most profound contemplation on those topical issues that I've heard explored through songs. Instead of preaching through essay lyrics, Schmidt moved the audience to reconsider with inspired parables."
From time to time, older artists who perform at my club will recommend new artists to me, who I might not have heard. Among the most notable of these songwriters, there is Danny Schmidt. Both on stage than on disc, Danny Schmidt demonstrates an undeniable originality, as a very talented guitarist and as a lyricist of indisputable poetic dimension.
Get this record, its simply amazing. It's easily one of the best things I've listened to this year. There's not enough adjectives in any writer's vocabulary, let alone mine, to do his music justice.
"Little Grey Sheep is more polished and produced than most of his previous releases, yet loses none of the poetry, sly humor, and edgy fireworks that are his trademark style. The opening cut, Leaves Are Burning has Danny's deep, dark, writing at it's finest. Song for Judy & Bridget is nothing less than one of the most beautiful wedding songs ever written.
"There's some really brilliant writing here. This man is a real storyteller and I recommend Parables & Primes without reservation."
"The beauty of Danny Schmidt's live shows is that of a bulb uncovered and electrified, the filament inside giving off the same unearthly glow that Schmidt himself possesses. That light can fluctuate with a surge in current, with songs that gently devastate and cradle in equal measure."
It is rare that such brilliant, poetic writing is intertwined with vividly haunting delivery and stirring guitar work. The lingering images of the stories told through Danny's songs left us entranced and full of the ancient meanings which moved Human Kind to create music in the beginning days.
I have admired Neil Young, the man and his music, from the first time I heard his first song blistering the airwaves. I listened to one of Danny Schmidt's songs and I was instantly blown away with the purity and beauty . . . to the point, yet an infinity left to the imagination, indulging yet inspiring! I suppose someone who possesses such natural talent could be miffed at the notion of being compared to other artists; but I must say that the pleasure of experiencing Danny's offerings, has engulfed me with the aroma of Jim Croce, it has ingrained in me the flavor of James Taylor, and unmistakably, it has instilled in me the feelings which I have only felt in the presence of the works of the genius that is Neil Young. Like Longfellow, Di Vinci and Mozart left in a caldron to brew, the resulting potion is pure poetry and paint soaking a canvas composed of purity, beauty and imagination.