You don’t hear music like this every day.
Danny Schmidt is one of those unique musicians who has a distinct voice. He can be at once soulful and pensive, and he’ll knock you for a loop with his beautiful harmonies through the simple combination of acoustic guitar and his voice.
It’s his voice that really makes him distinct from the rest of what is being called the singer/songwriter revival. Schmidt’s sound could see comparisons to the likes of Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and John Prine, but when you hear him play, all you really can compare him to is . . . Danny Schmidt. It’s a natural sound, I read on his website somewhere that people say he plays as naturally as he breathes.
“I guess that’s true,” says Schmidt, “because I’ve done both for a long time and I don’t think about either one much.”
And he really doesn’t preoccupy himself with calling himself a “good” guitar player. “I do think I have a comfortable feel for my instrument,” he says, “but that’s because I’ve spent a lot of time just feeling it out . . .”
Schmidt says he got started playing music when he was twelve, but it was the awkward heavy metal of a kid who hasn’t yet found his muse. “It wasn’t until I was 20 that I figured out that Jimi Hendrix was playing the blues,” Schmidt notes in his press biography, “but when I did, I realized I liked the blues.”
That’s when he discovered artists like Neil Young and John Prine. And they were the ones who taught him about the melody and poetry of words. “I always loved poetry,” he notes, “and I always loved songs. It just never occurred to me to sit down and write one myself, until I fell in love with this girl in Virginia . . .”
Since that turning point in his musical life, Danny Schmidt has made quite a name for himself in the acoustic folk community, both in Charlottesville, Virginia, and on the Austin, Texas music scene, where he’s currently playing his bluesy brand of folk.
I discovered his music by accident during a 3 a.m. music binge on the late (and these days not so great) mp3.com. One listen, and I was hooked. As is always the case when I discover something truly good, I let the artist know what I thought. After a series of short email communications, Schmidt sent me his two studio albums, “Enjoying The Fall” and “Make Right The Time”. Both are sparse and beautiful looks into the soul, the type of albums you just have to sit back and really listen to. Each song is a snapshot into the heart and mind of a songwriter who is finally making his voice heard.
And it’s a voice you’ll want to hear.
For more information, visit http://www.danny.schmidt.net.