"Songs themselves are the part that stirs my passion. I travel and perform because that's the only way I have to share my songs with people. And I do enjoy the human connection with the listeners. But it's The Song that makes me elated. Finishing a new one makes me giddy. Seeing a whole little school of them swimming around over time makes me proud."
Named to the Chicago Tribune’s 50 Most Significant Songwriters in the Last 50 Years, Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter Danny Schmidt has been rapidly ascending from underground cult hero to being widely recognized as an artist of generational significance. With lyrical depth drawing comparisons to Leonard Cohen, Townes Van Zandt, and Dave Carter, Danny is considered a preeminent writer, an artist whose earthy poetry manages to somehow conjure magic from the mundane.
This song is about a relationship in transition. In fact, the song itself mirrors that transition . . . cause I was halfway through writing it when the relationship shifted. So the song that began as an upward trajectory sort of love song ended as a "how to salvage what you can from the wreck" sort of love song.
Already Done was written about a month after September 11th -- and is another take is a take on tragedy. And the tragedy of when the grieving process never makes it past the Anger stage. This song is a lot of things to me. It's a memorial, first. Then it's an expression of dismay -- that, even after experiencing first hand the devastating affects of division among the world's people -- our response was orthodox nationalism. I would say our response is an inappropriate memorial.
Cleopatra is the story of a man and woman meeting at a bar . . . and falling into a little game by which they make up lives for themselves that are more interesting than their real ones. I think there's sparks between these two. But, sadly, Cleopatra panics and flees when she realizes that, quite by accident, there's something real going on between them.
I wrote this song as a tribute to my musician friends.
This is a character sketch, basically -- of a poor conflicted skittish soul who keeps trying to reach out and then keeps retreating back into his castle.
I think of this song as a sort of skeptic's secular gospel tune. I've always found it exceedingly difficult to believe whole-heartedly in things that I can't see or touch, or in things for which I have no tangible evidence with which to defend my convictions. And while I can certainly appreciate how Faith is a powerful tool for those who can feel it in their guts, it's not something that one can will oneself to have. So this song is about struggling to find certainty in uncertainty.
This song is a life-cycle parable about how our relationship with our own shadowy darker side evolves as we move through life. It's always been my contention that we can never fully repair the cracks in our own character and psyche, but our relationship with that part of our self continues to evolve, and we can hopefully move from wanting to disown parts of our self to becoming more fully integrated.
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1: What artist would you most love to work with?
2: What instrument brings you the most joy?
Guitar, of course. Stupid question.
3: What was the worst advice?
Play what the audience wants to hear.
4: What was your first concert?
5: What/where is the best road food?
6: What’s the best music advice you ever got?
It's a long slow curve upward. You can't hurry it and control it at the same time.
7: Who is your most surprising inspiration?