A Review Of The Danny Schmidt CD
"Parables & Primes"
"Parables & Primes"
by Danny Schmidt
Live Once Records 9449-2
This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 9/05
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
send me an email message
If the mystery, music and flavor of Townes Van Zandt and Dave
Carter, along with a hint of Al Grierson and Jack Hardy, could be channeled, then
Danny Schmidt has done so.Schmidt, enigmatic, esoteric, exhilarating and effusive, is
a tale teller of the human spectrum--comedy, tragedy and most every
point in between. But what separates him from so many is how insightfully he does it.
The eminence of his latest release stems not only from
Schmidt piecing together music and meaning in very melodious form,
but also his remarkably distinct fashion--call it a musical Rubik's cube.
Yes, the songs here are analogous to the content of "The
Atlantic" or "The New Yorker," not high brow but highly challenging AND
satisfying, packed with mature discernment. For those who love to decipher and derive meaning from art,
this release is for you. For the fans who can't wait to get their hands on the latest edition of "Us" or "People," steer clear.
A grand example is a verse from "This Too Shall Pass," the opening cut:
"...We think too big--we think our self is one whole thingSchmidt's "Neil Young" provides a most unusually descriptive
snapshot or two or three of a night in a couple's relationship. "The
Dark Eyed Prince" has nothing whatsoever to do with a certain musician
from the Twin Cities. But it's lyrical brilliance is Dave Carter-esque.
And we claim that this collection has a name and is a being
But deep inside, when every cell divides
It sets upon the rule that states self-interest is divine
"Happy All The Time" is a jazzy-inflected cut that uses the title
phrase over and over but, remarkably, the song suffers not from such
redundancy. "Riddle and Lies" laments the dodging, feinting and
camouflaging that perplexes and infects human relationships.
"Esmee By The River" seems unconnected to JD Salinger's "For Esme With
Love and Squalor." However, it is infused with strains of Townes Van
"Stained Glass" is a masterpiece. A church's stained glass window is
smashed into pieces by a falling tree, and Schmidt's descriptive
writing about it being pieced back together and unveiled is ingenious:
He offers 19 graphic and insightful lines of verse and then concludes with
"...As the thunder and the hardwood settled back into placeA jilted husband kills his wife's lover in "Ghosts," but that is
only the beginning. The condemned-to-die husband offers an amazingly
literate admonition of the burden of anyone who has done wrong and
God removed his veil to show the scars upon his face
And some folks prayed in reverence and some folks prayed in fear
As all the shades and chaos in the glass became a mirror."
The Nashville music scene is given a scathing once-over in
"Beggars & Mules." True to Schmidt's life experience or not, it's
a brilliantly accurate depiction. Just as Dave Carter's music has been
described in relation to succeeding it in Nashville: 'way too many words'--this also applies to Schmidt's creations..
"A Circus of Clowns" brings to mind the line "...the circus is
in town..." from Dylan's "Desolation Row." Schmidt's surreal scenarios
in this song match those of Dylan's creation.
The presentation is primarily Schmidt's voice and his words. Generally,
one instrument, sometimes two, accompanies him on each offering.
It's only September, but this release will be #1 on my list of CDs of
the year. Yes, it is that good. Thank you, Danny Schmidt, for introducing
such beauty into my life and this world.
Schmidt, on vocals and guitar, is
backed by Lloyd Maines on steel guitar; Guy Forsyth on harmonica;
Michael Longoria on drums; Bruce Hughes on bass; Brandon Anthony on
violin; Ferni Castillo on trumpet; Stefano Intelidano on accordian and
organ; Philip "Pops" Schmidr on accordian; Noelle Hampton and Niki
Duncan on harmonies; Mike Meadows on percussion; Jeff Vogelgesang on
mandolin; Sandy Gray on electric guitar; John Pointer on cello; and
Randall Pharr on bass.
All songs written by Danny Schmidt.
- This Too Shall Pass (4:17)
- Neil Young (4:25)
- Dark-Eyed Prince (4:18)
- Happy All The Time (4:35)
- Riddles & Lies (3:19)
- Esmee By The River (2:34)
- Stained Glass (6:36)
- Ghosts (5:11)
- Beggars & Mules (4:15)
- A Circus of Clowns (6:14)
- Parables & Primes (2:31)
Copyright © 1998-2015 Kevin & Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews. All rights reserved.
Ownership, copyright and title of this folk music CD review belongs
to me, Kevin
McCarthy. Ownership, copyright and title are not transferable or
assignable to you or other parties regardless of how or if you or other
parties use, copy, save, backup, store, retrieve, transmit, display, publish,
modify or share the CD review in whole or in part. Please read the "Terms,
Conditions and Disclaimer" section on my web site for additional
information about using, quoting, or reprinting this CD review.
Send inquiries to: send me an email message.
Return to Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk
Music CD Reviews home page.
To return to the last web page you visited, click the "Back"
button that appears immediately below: