Saturday, April 30, 2011
Danny Schmidt with Chuck E. Costa
25 Old Jackson Ave. , Hastings, NY
Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter, Danny Schmidt has been building an enthusiastic (nearly cult-like) following while simultaneously inspiring the admiration of his fellow artists and critical acclaim from industry professionals. He is the real deal, an authentic timeless troubadour in the tradition of Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Dave Carter, who 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. This is one show not to be missed.
It’s his songwriting which won him the prestigous 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.
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.”
Opening the evening will be a similarly gifted songwriter. Chuck E. Costa’s candid and visceral delivery of literate and well-crafted contemporary folk tunes has steadily raised his profile on the national club, coffeehouse and festival circuits. Chuck never started playing guitar. Instead, he started rummaging through the basement in search of his grandfather’s baseball cards. Meddling through stacks of old china and piles of winter coats, he never found them. Something found him instead. Strumming it’s scraggly strings; a progression of broken chords, he played with an honesty and innocence that would be preserved in the songs he would later write. Since earning a degree in philosophy in Boulder, Chuck, a native New Yorker, returned to the Northeast and released 3 independent albums and an EP since 2002. He is a modern day troubadour who has been touring the country consistently for several years cutting his teeth as a performer and songwriter. With his dulcet voice and emotive lyrics Chuck has grown into a singer/songwriter with a unique and honest voice. Last year, Chuck released his third independent release Where the Songs Come From. Chuck teamed up with Mark Thayer of Signature Sounds to create an album of rich arrangements that stay true to the heart of each of Chuck’s candid and visceral songs. The opening track was selected to be featured on a compilation released by Hear Music in every Starbucks in North America. The album appeared on the Billboard charts in its first week of release. He has shared the stage with such diverse nationally touring acts as; Rosanne Cash, The Weepies, Pete Seeger, Peter Case, Dar Williams, Josh Ritter and Andrew Bird to name a few.