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Claudia Schmidt

Claudia Schmidt is one of the Midwest's most popular folk and jazz musicians. With her raspy alto vocals and multi-instrumental skills, Schmidt has crafted a unique style from the musical traditions of the past. While much of her repertoire consists of original material, Schmidt has incorporated a diverse range of musical influences. Schmidt's concerts reflect her eclectic approach as well. At least one critic has observed that Schmidt's shows are "a lot like falling in love -- you never know what's going to happen next."

A frequent performer on National Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion, Schmidt was exposed to folk music after moving to Chicago in 1974 to work as a secretary and office manager. Inspired by the Windy City's folk scene, which included Steve Goodman, Jim Post, and Bob Gibson, Schmidt taught herself to play Appalachian dulcimer, 12-string guitar, and the deluxe pianolin, a 52-string, zither-like instrument. Within five years, Schmidt had left her day job and sought her fortune as a musician. Schmidt's self-titled debut album, released in 1979, established her as one of the Midwest's best singer/songwriters.

Schmidt composed the score, in collaboration with director Frank Calati, of a modern translation of Bertolt Brecht's play A Good Person in Setzuan. Presented at the Goodman Theater in Chicago in May 1992, the score received a prestigious Joseph Jefferson Award.

Although she moved temporarily to Minnesota and Wisconsin, Schmidt moved back to her home state of Michigan with her husband Bill Pellardino to operate a bed-and-breakfast in an old log farmhouse that they restored on Lake Michigan's Beaver Island. She has since relocated off the island and settled in Traverse City.

In addition to 14 solo albums, Schmidt has recorded two albums -- Closing the Distance and While We Live, with Connecticut-based singer/songwriter Sally Rogers. During the 21st century her recordings have sometimes moved in a jazz direction, starting with 2001's I Thought About You and including 2006's Live at the Dakota, recorded at the Dakota jazz club in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Released in 2010, Promising Sky was recorded by Claudia Schmidt & Her Funtet, a band blending folk, jazz, and funk influences. She returned early in 2014 with New Whirled Order, co-produced by Conrad Uno and featuring 11 new songs. ~ Craig Harris
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Bend In The River

1. Bend In The River

2. Pretty At The End

3. You Can Call Me Baby

4. Make It Across The Road

5. Racer

6. Persephone's Song

7. Invitation To The Weep

8. Black Crow

9. Grampa Johnson

10. Going By

11. Banana Moon

12. Waltzing At The 45th Parallel

13. Rising

14. Wings Of Wonder

15. Wayfaring Stranger

16. It All Depends

x

Track List: Out Of The Dark / New Goodbyes, Old Helloes

1. Happy Hearts

2. Let Me In

3. Hip To Be Homeless

4. Birdwings I & II

5. Skylark

6. Can't Be Cool

7. Gather You In

8. Beginning To See The Light

9. Fanfare For Forsythia

10. Dulcimer Interlude

11. San Diego Serenade

12. We Hold Back

13. Love Is The Strongest Thing

14. Hard Love

15. Tired

16. Old Devil Time

17. I'm A Little Cookie

18. Beaver Island Jubilee / For The Birds / Replenish

19. Ashleyville

20. Stairs

21. Grandma's Hands

22. River Of Tears

x

Track List: Midwestern Heart

1. Give Me Some

2. Man Who Visits Me

3. The Darkening

4. Vampire

5. Broken Glass

6. Farewell My Freinds

7. Alley Dancer

8. Coming Home

9. Afternoon On A Woodpile

10. Dolphin Story

11. This Is The Hour

x

Track List: It Looks Fine From Here

1. Banana Moon

2. We Don't Know

3. Mowin' at Owen's

4. Another Kind

5. Postcard From Andrea

6. Miss Eulalia Thomas

7. Waltzing at the 45th Parallel

8. Winter Love

9. These Stars

10. Quiet Hills

11. You Can't Stop

12. Rising

Comments

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mikkelbenson 2 0 1 1
Good music we like this song.
Report as inappropriate
even after all these years I still don't get no bread with one meatball
Report as inappropriate
It is great to hear a well known voice from my years in Wisconsin, where she performed often and was also a regular on Judy Rose's Simply Folk on Wisconsin Public Radio. Go forever Claudia.
Report as inappropriate
Claudia's music has a timeless quality to it. Well worth your time.

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