Cover art of new record by Efrain Guerrero
In the old music model releases by independent artists and smaller labels came to a standstill sometime starting around the end of October as both big boxes and smaller retail outlets focused on the big holiday releases. With the new model already upon us, perhaps this year early winter will no longer be a wasteland devoid of interesting releases. Around this time of year I usually go into re-post mode throwing up some of my favorite posts from 2007 or revisiting some of my favorite artists, but this year may be a little different. For example, I just found out that Danny Schmidt has been working on a new record (Waterbug soon) titled Little Grey Sheep. The album title refers to some songs that had been kicking around for awhile but that had never appeared on one of his fine records. Danny’s brought them all together in one place as Little Grey Sheep.
I was going to write something about the beautiful song “Drawing Board” but Danny beat me to it; here’s what he says about this love song turned “best-of-friends” song.
“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.”
“Adios to Tejasito” is a cute little song in that grand tradition of songs about Texas, although this one wryly puts down the rest of Texas and puts Danny’s hometown of Austin up on a pedestal. You’ll be able to purchase this here soon. It’ll be a must have for fans of intelligent folk based singer-songwriters.
Danny Schmidt “This Too Shall Pass”
Sonny Smith’s record from late 2006, Fruitvale, continues to stick with me. His stories of and about the neighborhood where he lives are short stories more fitting a novella or a play. The songs are occupied by characters that do bad things, but don’t seem to be bad people; be it the pimp on the corner or the cop in “Bad Cop”. The songs seem to point to some big forces at work here other than simple self-determination; issues like the unraveling of the family, the plight of the urban neighborhood and the prevailing atmosphere of hate in Bush’s America. Buy Fruitvale here.
Sonny Smith “The Gospel Song”