Sing Out! magazine's review of Parables & Primes
by Rich Warren (see note at bottom)
Danny Schmidt reminds me of why I gravitate towards the singer-songwriter art form. With the gravitational pull of the sun, he is, perhaps the best new songwriter I’ve heard in the last 15 years. Schmidt’s iconoclastic style sets him apart from the crowd, yet if you lean toward the acoustic folk side of singer-songwriters you’ll find him quite accessible.
This self-produced CD lists 15 accompanists, yet the uncluttered production never overwhelms or overshadows the songs. It builds a vortex that swirls you into the songs. Schmidt’s voice is frail yet assertive, self-effacing yet self-confident and easily carries his ideas.
“Stained Glass” is the single most dazzling, dramatic, dynamic and poetic song I’ve heard since Phil Och’s “Crucifixion.” This 6:36 minute long parable tells of the destruction and reconstru
“This Too Shall Pass” is a defiant song for a friend with cancer. Setting an overall tone of sardonic, dark commentary often illuminated with irony, he views the human condition from a variety of angles. “A Circus of Clowns” cleverly, boldly skewers the current Administration.
Schmidt crafts engrossing melodies to carry his novel approach to words. While you may not be able to remember all the lyrics because of the complexity, you may have trouble escaping the tunes. He even weaves in some melodic quotations from traditional folk songs.
I have tried to avoid hyperbole in discussing Parables & Primes. I’ll simply say you must buy this CD. It is the pinnacle of contemporary songwriting.
Besides writing for Sing Out! magazine, Rich Warren also hosts the nationally syndicated folk radio show, Midnight Special, produced by Chicago's WFMT 98.7FM