Named to the Chicago Tribune’s “50 Most Significant Songwriters in the Last 50 Years," Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter Danny Schmidt has amassed a cult following for his poetic, poignant lyrics. With a craftsmanship and emotional depth drawing comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Townes Van Zandt, and with fantastical narratives reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia
Marquez and Salman Rushdie, Schmidt is considered a preeminent writer. Sing Out Magazine proclaimed that: “Schmidt is a force of nature: a blue moon, a hundred-year flood, an avalanche of a singer-songwriter. His songs are a flood of poetry, mythology, folk wisdom, and surprise. He
is perhaps the best new songwriter we’ve heard in the last 15 years.”
Performing solo most often, armed with just his voice, his acoustic guitar, and his acute commentary, Schmidt’s an authentic timeless troubadour, one man sharing his truth in the form of songs, in unadorned and intimate fashion. The understated effect can be powerful. As songwriter Jeffrey Foucault put it: “Everything about the man is gentle, except for his capacity for insight, which is crushing.”
“Danny Schmidt is far-ranging, wise, and life-affirmingly poetic.” - Anais Mitchell
After garnering unanimous critical praise for his self-released Parables & Primes album in 2005,
Schmidt’s follow up release, Little Grey Sheep in 2007 began a streak of albums that topped the
Folk Radio Charts internationally. And on the heels of being crowned with one of the
prestigious Kerrville New Folk awards in 2007, Schmidt won the notice of venerable Americana
roots label, Red House Records, who began releasing his albums in 2009, alongside such
notable artists as Greg Brown, Eliza Gilkyson, and John Gorka, thus exposing his music to a
Schmidt released three albums on Red House Records, including the critically acclaimed debut
Instead The Forest Rose To Sing in 2009, the spare and intimate Man Of Many Moons in 2011,
and culminating with the amorous duo album For Keeps with his partner, Carrie Elkin, in 2014.
Schmidt returned to self-releasing his own music in 2016 with the album Owls, a mystical
collection of ethereal allegories. Standard Deviation in 2019 was Schmidt’s ninth solo record
and tenth album total.
Schmidt’s relationship with the hit podcast Welcome To Night Vale began when his song This
Too Shall Pass was used in one of their first episodes, and immediately struck a chord with the
podcast’s audience. Schmidt has subsequently toured with the podcast for many of their live
shows as the special musical guest.
Family life for Schmidt interweaves with his musical life. His wife Carrie Elkin is herself an
acclaimed singer/songwriter, and the two often tour together, sharing songs back and forth, and
singing harmonies on each other’s work. In 2016 they celebrated the birth of their daughter,
Maizy, who is often a fixture at their duo shows.