Owls (Live Once)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., June 19, 2015
Things have changed for Danny Schmidt. The highly touted native folker got married to Carrie Elkin since his last release, and now Owls flies without a label. The superior quality of the results remains the same. Schmidt also continues to offer wonderful song-by-song descriptions on his website, thoughts on new titles including "Girl With Lantern Eyes" and "Bad Year for Cane." After seven LPs, Schmidt's developed a reputation for poetic lyricism, at times cramming too many words into his songs. Owls leaves that slight miscue mostly by the wayside, and his stories remain filled with shadows and unexpected revelations. One update: Schmidt occasionally leans sonically toward a band sound that constitutes a change-up from his past work. "Guns & the Crazy Ones" and "Wings of No Restraint" possess an alt.country feel that's naturally rough and tumble.