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Claudia Schmidt — New Whirled Order [2014]

Claudia Schmidt — New Whirled Order [March 4, 2014]

USA Flag   Claudia Schmidt — New Whirled Order
¬   “Take time, take heed, take heart, you need not fear the darkness, Our love will hold you close and guide you toward the Dawn Star.”
¬   Despite a kaleidoscopic mix of Celtic-tinged guitars, dulcimers and mandolins, cooing woodwind ensembles and the occasional raucous accordion, Claudia Schmidt’s mellifluous, rock-steady vocals are the focus of her recently released album, New Whirled Order.  Her songs span a myriad of styles and subjects, but Schmidt admits she unknowingly channeled two distinct emotions most prominently when recording the album: love and fear. //  In the end, art and spirit triumph, if uneasily and with no guarantee. Schmidt is a wise woman, and the truths New Whirled Order speaks are fierce and hard to shake. It's good to have her back.
Location: New Baltimore ~ Traverse City, Michigan ~ Minneapolis, MN
Album release: March 4, 2014
Record Label: Red House
Duration:     53:02
Tracks:
01. Already       3:45
02. Sea Of Forgiveness       4:20
03. Nothing       3:41
04. Dawn Star       6:42
05. Coward In The Face Of Love       3:04
06. Longing       4:42
07. The Likes Of You       3:55
08. My Defenses Are Down       3:55
09. Strong Woman Has A Bad Day Polka       2:21
10. Out Here       6:57
11. Sometime Ago       4:23
12. Jane's Gone (For My Mom, 1922-2013)       3:46
13. Jane's A-Round       1:31
Written by:
♦→   Claudia Schmidt: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13
♦→   Dean Magraw / Claudia Schmidt: 4
♦→   Sergio Mihanovich / Claudia Schmidt: 11
Personnel:
♦→   Claudia Schmidt (vocals, 12 string guitar, mountain dulcimer)
♦→   Dean Magraw (acoustic/electric guitars)
♦→   Richard Gates (electric bass)
♦→   Tim Griffin (drums)
♦→   Chris Haynes (piano, accordion)
♦→   Betsy Doriss (oboe)
CREDITS:
♦→   Howie Bursen  Vocals
♦→   Jeff Davis  Vocals
♦→   Betsy Doriss  Oboe
♦→   Joan Richmond Gallagher  Cover Painting
♦→   Richard Gates  Bass (Electric)
♦→   David Glasser  Mastering
♦→   Tim Griffin  Drums
♦→   Chris Haynes  Accordion, Piano
♦→   Dean Magraw  Composer, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Producer
♦→   Larry Marcus  Photography
♦→   Sergio Mihanovich  Composer
♦→   Eric Peltoniemi  Art Direction
♦→   Sally Rogers  Vocals
♦→   Claudia Schmidt  Composer, Guitar (12 String), Liner Notes, Lyricist, Mountain Dulcimer, Producer, Vocals
♦→   Mark Thayer  Engineer, Mixing, Producer
♦→   Similar albums: Cris Williamson — The Changer and the Changed: A Record of the Times (1975); Cindy Kallet — 2 (1983); Anne Hills — Points of View (November 10, 2009)

                                               © STEVE LIPOVSKY
Notes:
♦→   Claudia was interviewed about her approach to the 12-String guitar in the Sept. 1988 FRETS magazine, "Special Issue: Beyond 6 Strings"; the article, entitled 'Sweeter By The Dozen: The Magic Of The 12-String Guitar (by Mark Hansen & Richard Bamman)' features her photo on p. 27 and comments on p. 35.
♦→   Claudia has been a well-known fixture in the folk/acoustic music scene since her earliest days performing in the late seventies. Her first self-titled recording on Flying Fish Records — since bought out by Rounder Records — was a huge success. She recorded four solo entrees with this label, and one duo recording with Sally Rogers. In 1987 she started a relationship with the budding record label Red House Records where she recorded another five albums, including one more duo with Sally Rogers. All ten of the above recordings were clearly in the folk/acoustic domain.
REVIEW
Posted by Folk Villager on March 7, 2014 at 7:30am
♦→   Possessed of one of those Collins/Koloc/Hills pure-folk singing voices, Schmidt re-emerges with her New World Order
♦→   The 2012 Claudia Schmidt compilation "Bend in the River: Collected Songs" contained sixteen selections from the handful of albums that this Michigan bred singer/songwriter had recorded for the Minneapolis based Red House Records between 1987 — 2000. Claudia debuted as a recording artist in 1979 with a self-titled set on the late Bruce Kaplan’s, now defunct, Chicago based, Flying Fish Records. Post 2000 Schmidt independently released a few albums, including EVIDENCE OF HAPPINESS (2012) her third collaboration with long-time musician buddy Sally Rogers. The recording sessions for the latter took place, a few miles from the latter’s home, at Mark Thayer’s Signature Sounds Recording in Pomfret, Connecticut.
♦→   Obviously enamoured by Thayer’s set-up NEW WHIRLED ORDER was recorded there. On the sessions Claudia (vocals, 12 string guitar, mountain dulcimer) was supported by long-time collaborator Dean Magraw (acoustic/electric guitars) plus Richard Gates (electric bass), Tim Griffin (drums), Chris Haynes (piano, accordion) and Betsy Doriss (oboe). Production of NEW WHIRLED ORDER is credited to Schmidt, Magraw and Thayer, and the album closes with a heartfelt memorial to her mother, Jane, who passed in 2013. In the liner booklet Claudia writes “I offer this collection in memory of my mom, Jane Schmidt, who was my fiercest fan and very present on this journey.” In the same liner note Claudia refers to the recording sessions as “a healing time” and further muses “Once upon a time there was a new Red House recording project. Musicians came together, some old friends, some newly met, and the journey began. The songs took shape, changed, and changed again as they were explored and listened to, altered and tweaked. It was a humbling and breathtaking experience.”                                                         © STEVE LIPOVSKY
♦→   Schmidt’s (music) career was in slumber mode for over a decade, during which time with her husband she ran a bed and breakfast on an island in Lake Michigan. Continuing to write, and occasionally perform and record, when her marriage ended Claudia relocated to Minneapolis. The release of the slyly-titled, thirteen-song NEW WHIRLED ORDER confirms Claudia’s re-emergence as a full-time singer/songwriter. The Red House press release reveals that, divorce and the loss of her mother apart, Claudia’s new songs were inspired by phrase “There are only two feelings: love and fear” in A COMMON PRAYER Australian Michael Leunig’s 1990 book of prayers and cartoons. Further describing her latest album, she continued “I’ve never sung so unabashedly about love; fear was never a problem!”
♦→   Schmidt’s multi-octave, crystal-clear voice soars and swoops on the opening song Already, a spirited paean to rediscovery. Replete with accordion support and an intricate Magraw guitar solo, in the closing line the narrator urges the listener to “Kick that door wide open, my friend...cause that’s what love is for.” Doriss’ oboe weaves in and out of the gentler paced, image-filled Sea Of Forgiveness; the narrator’s dreams torn asunder, she reflects “Sometimes everything just turns out wrong.” The lines “I’ll stay here the whole damn day, Free of schedules, worries, and words” encapsulate the theme underpinning Nothing. Almost hymn-like in execution, Dean Magraw/Claudia Schmidt co-wrote the three-verse Dawn Star — “Take time, take heed, take heart, you need not fear the darkness, Our love will hold you close and guide you toward the Dawn Star.” Schmidt ratchets up the tempo a few notches for the aserbic Coward In The Face Of Love, and follows with the gentler semi-spoken Longing a paean to “the unsaid” in our conversations.
♦→   Almost certainly based on bitter as well as sweet experience, countless shades of love permeate the Likes Of You lyric. On My Defences Are Down Schmidt and Magraw indulge in jazz vocal and guitar extemporisation, the ensuing and urgent Strong Woman Has A Bad Day Polka is liberally laced with lyrical humour, while the Out Here narrator seeks resolution. Argentinean born jazz pianist, singer and composer, the late Sergio Mihanovich (d. 2012) penned Sometime Ago half-a-century ago. Here on this marriage of vocal and scat singing, Claudia employs her own lyric supported by the jazz-inspired, piano-led melody. Accompanied by guitar and oboe the penultimate and wordless Jane’s Gone (For My Mom, 1922-2013) finds Schmidt vocally bidding farewell to an adored parent, and it’s followed by the acapella, ninety-second long Jane’s A-round. Sung by Claudia, (husband and wife) Howie Bursen and Sally Rogers, and friend Jeff Davis, the repeated “We’re born, we live, we die, we’re gone, but love goes on and on” rises, peaks and slowly fades into infinity…….just as, one day, we all will. (http://www.nodepression.com/)
Also:
By EVAN PERRY on February 20, 2014
:: http://mynorth.com/2014/02/northern-michigan-songstress-claudia-schmidts-new-whirled-order/
Rambles.NET, music review by Jerome Clark
:: http://www.rambles.net/schmidt_whirled14.html
In french:
♦→   Un magnifique album qui met en évidence toutes les facettes du talent de l'artiste: du folk traditionnel au jazz, en passant par des influences pop. Recommandé.
Website: http://www.claudiaschmidt.com/
Biography:
♦→   Claudia Schmidt is a powerful vocalist and adventurous artist, who combines lively folk, jazz and blues with rich poetry and playful humor. Hailing from Michigan, she knew at a young age that she was destined to be a singer. Performing in numerous choirs throughout her youth, Claudia soon pursued a professional career while in Chicago, leading her to Wisconsin and Minnesota, where she was a frequent guest on the early days of A Prairie Home Companion. Forty years and 16 albums later, Claudia continues to perform on the road to her loyal legions of fans across the country. Mixing folk, jazz, traditional ballads and breathtaking originals, there's not a style she can't master.  Claudia 's incredible voice and charismatic stage presence make her a marvel in concert.
♦→   Claudia has recorded 16 of her own albums, including five on Red House Records and two with singer-songwriter Sally Rogers. She was also featured in Gales of November, a musical theater piece written by Eric Peltoniemi and playwright Steven Dietz featuring Prudence Johnson, Ruth MacKenzie, Peter Ostroushko, Dan Chouinard and Jeff Wilkomm. 
♦→   Now living in Minneapolis, she released a retrospective, Bend in the River: Collected Songs, in 2012, a fun, wide-ranging collection of her finest Red House material.
♦→   With New Whirled Order, Claudia returns to the Red House Records fold, an infectious energy and joy, she continues to delight audiences with her spectacular vocals and instrumental prowess.
Discography:
♦→   1979 Claudia Schmidt  (Flying Fish)  
♦→   1981 Midwestern Heart  (Flying Fish)  
♦→   1983 New Goodbyes, Old Hellos  (Flying Fish) 
♦→   1985 Out of the Dark  (Flying Fish)  
♦→   1987 Big Earful  (Red House Records)  
♦→   1991 Essential Tension  (Red House Records) 
♦→   1991 While We Live  (Red House Records)  
♦→   1994 It Looks Fine from Here  (Red House Records)  
♦→   2000 Wings of Wonder  (Red House Records)  
♦→   2001 I Thought About You  (Independently by Label)  
♦→   2014 New Whirled Order  (Red House / Red House Records)
_______________________________________________________________

Claudia Schmidt — New Whirled Order [2014]

 

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