Parables & Primes
Danny Schmidt is a writer's writer, in the vein of Townes Van Zandt and Leonard Cohen. And Parables & Primes is the kind of album you envelop yourself in at 2am, half drunk, strangely attuned, and with the lyrics on your lap as you follow along line by line. This is Schmidt's first album since moving back home to Austin; the first to draw off the abundant wealth of Austin musicians, with the likes of Lloyd Maines on lap steel, Guy Forsyth on harmonica, Michael Longoria (Patti Griffin's band) on drums, and Bruce Hughes (Bob Schneider's band) on bass. "Parables & Primes" is lushly orchestrated, yet still sparse, with graceful touches of accordion, violin, cello, organ, trumpet, mandolin, and of course, some sweet harmonies. They make for a velvety backdrop - but it's the songs themselves, their messages and their poetry, that sit front and center on Schmidt's records, and this one is no exception.