Dirty Linen - p.77
"The emphasis, as always with Schmidt's music, is on his highly literate lyrics....The simple structures are graced by the stunning harmony vocals by Joia Woods."
Personnel: Danny Schmidt (vocals, guitar); Paul Curreri (guitar, piano, percussion); Colin Brooks (steel guitar); Jeff Romano (harmonica).
Photographers: Eric Abrahams; Devon Sproule.
Before one can begin to listen to Danny Schmidt's Little Grey Sheep, one might be distracted by the white sheep and the black sheep, caught in flagrante delicto, on the album's cover. One might imagine that perhaps they are responsible for the "little grey sheep" of the title (though, one might quibble, their offspring would certainly be "gray," not grey). Whether true or not, the image of the sheep surrounded by farmland does work as an introduction of sorts to Schmidt's rustic music. The opener, "Leaves Are Burning," creates a haunting, minor-key mood with Schmidt's deep vocals and stripped-down accompaniment built around acoustic guitar. In many ways, he reminds one of a traditional troubadour, though on the opener and "The Drawing Board" he would also fall into the post-Dylan singer/songwriter school. The arrangements grow from this acoustic base to a full-blown country band on the intriguingly titled "Go Ugly Early." These arrangement variations help keep the overall soundscape interesting. As is common with many singer/songwriters, Schmidt loves words, leading him to extend many of these songs to four and even five minutes. For singer/songwriter aficionados, Little Grey Sheep provides a good introduction to Schmidt's muse (along with the answer to where little gray lambs come from). ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.