‘Owls’ from Danny Schmidt "... so close you reach out and touch it"(March 29, 2015)
I’m not known for making snap decisions, more the long-time deliberating type. Then occasionally something changes that. This time, that ‘something’ is the album ‘Owls’ from Texas-based singer songwriter Danny Schmidt – his writing is sharply observant, wrapped around memorable melodies and driven through powerful lyrics – and it became a favourite from the start. The songs on ‘Owls’ echo the poetic abilities of a songwriter that can hit the spot with words and music, and on a single hearing, stand tall on its own strengths.
The feel of the album is so close you reach out and touch it. There’s no distance between album and listener. And that’s a envied pathway that not every artist is able to take. The softly paced opening track ‘Girl With Lantern Eyes’begins to weave the web, ‘The Guns & The Crazy Ones’ takes on a fuller sound, before ‘Faith Will Always Rise’offers another chance to register Schmidt’s absorbing skill in moulding words into his lyrics. There’s depth to these songs that calls you to come along and explore roads that lead through places of examination and journeys of observation – from the inspired scrutiny of ‘Looks Like God’ to the quiet thoughtfulness of ‘Cries Of Shadows’ - the perception never waivers.
The musicians playing on ‘Owls’are Danny Schmidt (guitar, vocals) Mike Meadows (drums, percussion) Andrew Pressman (bass) David Goodrich (guitars, piano) Lloyd Maines (steel guitar) Keith Gary (piano) Carrie Elkin, Daniel Thomas Phipps and Ali Holder (harmony vocals) – the album releases in May 2015. Website: www.dannyschmidt.com
Reviewer: Tom Franks