Grateful Fred’s Roots and Acoustic Nights at the Freshfields Hotel in Formby is the place to be if you want to hear some of the best Americana, roots, folk and acoustic music from around the world in the company of friends and a wide selection of real ales.
On Thursday 7th July they’ve got an exceptional headliner in the form of Danny Schmidt. Support on the night is from Mark Wynn, and also Armitage Shanks. Doors open at 8.00pm and the music starts at 8.15pm. Tickets are only £6.50 from wegottickets.com and full details of this and all their events can be found at gratefulfred.co.uk
Liverpool Acoustic’s Allan Cairns caught up with Danny ahead of his UK tour, and this is what he had to say.
Danny Schmidt comes all the way from America, from a little place called Austin, Texas. He is a wordsmith, a man with a voice which has an intensely intimate sound. I couldn’t help singing along to the album – his clean crisp guitar playing and his lyrically rich songs just draw you in and carry you with them on this journey. As Danny says, “These songs reflect a growthful period in my life. They are full of stark realisations, and that’s how we tried to present the songs. Simple and bare.”
He’s been playing guitar since he was 12 years old, and his early music likes stretched to heavy metal, then Jimi Hendrix and Steve Ray Vaughn. From there he found his way to Muddy Waters, John Hurt, and Rev Gary Davis ,to name but a few.
This will be Danny’s 5th visit to England. His tour starts in Plymouth on the 21st of June and finishes at Sheffield on Sunday the 10th of July. He will be appearing on the Bob Harris show on Sunday 26th of June (if you missed it try the listen again option).
The Man of Many Moons, the title track from his new album, is about how Danny liked to walk late at night in the quiet with just the moonlight for company. He says that’s one of the times good lines for songs will come to him…. but now that he is more domesticated he says lines come to him when he’s driving or even the shower. With this album Danny returns to a purely acoustic sound, bringing us an album that is truly stripped down to the songs themselves. “The vision for the production was to try and allow the songs the breath and space to remain simple and intimate,”. When I put him on the spot asking which of these songs was his favourite he picked “Little White Angels”.
Schmidt is signed to Red House Records. He was attracted to them by the family atmosphere that the record label engenders – they organise get-togethers for all the artists on their books for a big session. He has played the top clubs and festivals and shared the stage with such notable artists as Leon Russell, Kelly Joe Phelps, Janis Ian, Malcolm Holcombe and Chris Smither.
Danny’s label debut Instead the Forest Rose to Sing was recorded in Austin by Mark Hallman (David Byrne, Ani Difranco, Eliza Gilkyson) and mixed folk, Americana and indie-rock sounds. It garnered rave reviews and made No Depression’s “Best of 2009” list. The #2 most played folk album that year, it also solidified Danny’s place as one of today’s most important voices and led him to be highlighted by Rich Warren in the Chicago Tribune as one of the top 50 most significant folk songwriters in the last 50 years.
Danny is not only a singer songwriter but has also published some children’s books as well as his poems and photos. He has written some children’s songs too which he hopes to release in the future, but as a project is currently on the back burner, he says.
When asked about his forthcoming tour he said how much he was looking forward to it. “I find the audiences in England to be interested in music, curious about new music, and I’m looking forward to hearing some great harmonies from the assembled throngs!”
“wonderful melodic tunes, with deft and sharp lyrics.” The Telegraph (4 Stars)
“Danny Schmidt is an intense and arresting, interesting and entertaining, profound and grounded singer-songwriter garnering praise from critics who dare to speak his name in the same breath with Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.” Illinois Times
“Danny Schmidt’s done it again. One of the country’s best singer-songwriters has released yet another masterpiece.”– Indie-Music.com
© 2011 Allan Cairns – liverpoolacoustic.co.uk
Liverpool Acoustic is the only website of its kind in the UK. It was founded by Graham Holland in April 2008 as a central resource for the vibrant and exciting acoustic music scene in Liverpool and the Greater Merseyside area. The website publishes news from the local acoustic music scene, previews of upcoming events, reviews of music releases and gigs, and the Liverpool Acoustic Spotlight podcast. This content is available for free via email subscription. The diary lists acoustic events including festivals, theatre concerts, folk clubs, showcases and open mic nights.
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