Dog Steal the Moon
By the time his debut CD, Nothing Is Real, was released in late 1999, independent artist Stuffy Shmitt had already mapped out his second record, Dog Steal The Moon, due for release winter 2002. 'When you're an independent artist, you can make the records you want. If you're writing it, paying for it, releasing it yourself, there's no one telling you what you can or can't do. That's liberating. How could I not make another record?' says Shmitt. The first release proved to be a well-received showcase for Shmitt to demonsrate his talents as songwriter, singer, guitarist and producer. The new album, Dog Steal The Moon, builds on that success delivering a handful of the rip-your-heart-out ballads that hit home on the first album. But with Dog Steal The Moon, Shmitt creates a more balanced project, also offering a collection of infectious up-tempo rockers. The result is an album with the power to establish Shmitt as an important American rock-n-roll artist...a stylish soryteller with a singular voice. Indeed, Shmitt's rich, unpushed baritone vocals married with his insightful and self-exposing lyrics make his music resonate as a very personal statement. Whether joyful, passion-filled, angst-ridden or naughty, his songs, he admits, are slightly twisted autobiographical accounts of his life events. Yet Shmitt's unique viewfinder on the world is not alienating. He seamlessly shifts moods, letting us in, song by song. Painting pictures with his words and melodies that are both skewed and familiar, Shmitt lures his listenerinto his turbulent world. He has a refreshing writing style that blends honest directness with subtle poetry. His lyrics, meldies and back beat groove create sure-handed pop hooks without trying too hard, which make his tunes deliciously memorable. Shmitt's listener understands and feels what the song is about--rare these days--making this album infinitely listenable. As the producer on Dog Steal The Moon, Shmitt assembled a team of talented musicians, many who accompanied him on the first album, to flesh out his production. It is no doubt that Shmitt would be considered 'a musician's musician' among his colleagues, as he clearly has the ability as a producer to elicit the performance he envisions without obscuring the unique sound an artist unencumbered brings to his work. Shmitt has also reinforced his capacity for 'sonic thinking', evident on the first album. On Dog Steal The Moon, Shmitt expertly arranges and layers sound, while carefully injecting unusual instrumentation (i.e. short wave radio and didgeridoo) and unexpected choices (check out the way he plays his National steel guitar). He seems to make as many intelligent choices in the mixing as he does in the producing. With Dog Steal The Moon, Shmitt, without manipulating his audience or being formulaic, has accomplished a perfect progression in his follow-up to Nothing Is Real...giving us more of the same but better, plus something new to chew on. Once again, he has delivered a finished product that is an album in the truest sense of the word--written, performed, produced and released by Stuffy Shmitt, Dog Steal The Moon is a second, remarkable effort from an important emerging independent artist. Shmitt's talent hasn't gone unnoticed. Radio personality Vin Scelsa (NYC) sang praises, 'here's an artist called Stuffy Shmitt...his tunes knock me out' and called Nothing Is Real 'a mesmerizing piece of work'. And radio host Peter Bochan (NYC) named the debut CD 'one of the best indie releases of the year'. Shmitt has two songs featured in the independent feature 'Thirty Days' (An Ararca Group/Ariel Tepper Production). He composed and produced the soundtrack for the documentary, 'Abandoned', (Crowing Roooster Arts, Inc.), which premiered at The Human Rights Watch Film Festival at Lincoln Center in New York City last June and won the Dupont/Columbia University Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. Other film music credits include 'The Heavenly Kid' (Orion Pictures) and the award-winning educational childrens' film 'Whatever Happened To The Dinosaurs?' (Blackwatch Productions). Shmitt also co-wrote the theme song for the Ace Award winning MTV show 'Turn It Up'. He has performed is own material in venues coast to coast.