Danny Schmidt

Live Review | The Wheelhouse, Wombwell | Review by Allan Wilkinson

Danny Schmidt referred to his eagerly awaited return visit to the Wheelhouse tonight as a ‘homecoming’, largely due to the fact that our host at this little Wombwell venue, Hedley Jones, has spent the last couple of weeks on tour with Danny, serving as his road companion and driver; so tonight was actually a homecoming for the two of them.  Danny’s previous appearance at this popular house concert venue was back in December 2009, that time sharing the concert with partner Carrie Elkin.  Tonight, Danny shared the evening equally with York’s Mark Wynn, who both Danny and Hedley had met in Brighton during the tour, it was an evening of ‘bare and naked’ songs, courtesy of two fine songwriters from either side of the Atlantic.  Starting with “Company of Friends”, dedicating the song to his touring companion, the Austin songwriter went on to perform some of his best known songs during the first half of his set, from “Better Off Broke”, “Firestorm” and “Southland Street” from his last album Instead the Forest Rose to Sing, “Girl Whiskey” and “Blue Railroad Train” from the earlier Enjoying the Fall and a couple from Parables and fables, the infectious “Happy All the Time” and the exquisite “Stained Glass”, probably Danny’s most celebrated song.  It was with the new songs though, recently released on Danny’s seventh album Man of Many Moons that held our interest for the remainder of the set, introducing songs such as “Ragtime Ragtime Blues”, “Two Guitars”, a letter to Paul Curreri in song form and “Know Thy Place”, returning for the one encore, with a fine rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Buckets of Rain”.  Named as one of the fifty most significant songwriters to have emerged over the last fifty years by the Chicago Tribune, Danny Schmidt’s thoroughly engaging songs resonated with those lucky enough to have attended this full to bursting point house concert.