All My Pretty Ones
Gig Seeker Pro

All My Pretty Ones

San Francisco, California, United States

San Francisco, California, United States
Band Folk Americana


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"All My Pretty Ones"

All My Pretty Ones are a six-member group from the San Francisco Bay Area. Led by songwriter Derek Schmidt, the band plays richly-orchestrated, folk-influenced music. Songs rely heavily on acoustic guitar and piano, with occasional flourishes from a wide array of instruments like oboe, upright bass, mandolin and glockenspiel.

Their debut EP, "Handsbreadth," was released last year and includes five songs combining lighthearted melodies with Schmidt's rather mournful lyrics. You can listen to songs on their Myspace page or catch them live at one of a handful of California shows in the coming months.

"All My Pretty Ones at the Mama Buzz Cafe"

All My Pretty Ones, my new favorite band, played at the Mama Buzz on Saturday night in Oakland and though the set was only about 6 songs long, they did not disappoint at all. This was the first time we'd seen them after discovering their myspace about a month ago. They've got a few shows scattered around the Bay in the next month, and you should definitely go see them. Next Wednesday they're at the Stork Club, the Thursday after that, November 16th, they're in San Francisco at the Mama Art Cafe, and then three days later they'll be playing in People's Park in Berkeley. - The Deli SF

"Live review: All My Pretty Ones @ Hotel Utah"

Sitting in Hotel Utah and listening to All My Pretty Ones, I started reeling off names: Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse, Pulp, Bright Eyes and M. Ward, to mention a few. I realized that while I was thinking about possible sound-alikes for All My Pretty Ones, I was just naming a lot of other good bands as testament to their performance. In fact they have a very unique set up, and don't really sound like anyone else at all.

They were launching their debut full-length album Tone Poems, and being larger than the average band, they had stretched the capacity of the venue and PA system. Their line up changes regularly, but that night it included an oboe, upright bass, two guitars, piano and percussion. You can see how this could lead to problems – people coming in at the wrong time, playing wrong notes, being off key or off tempo – but they were almost orchestral in the way that they each came in for different parts of songs and remained in time with each other. Having so many musicians also has an advantage as it allows for Arcade Fire-style big vocal harmonies.

Dereck Schmidt, the project's creator, cites his influences as 60's folk, classical composition and musical theatre, and it is easy to see where each of these aspects come in. The music is very dramatic, as in musical theatre, but the folk influence means that it stops just short of becoming pirate music.

All My Pretty Ones are so unique that I'm not sure they have a target audience. They might just be a band that anyone can get into. They gave an impressive live performance, and having listened to some tracks from their album, I would suggest that anyone who likes interesting music played by talented musicians should give it a try.

Beatbeat Whisper was the second opener for AMPO, and played very pretty, well-arranged folk songs. They were obviously inspired by 60's music, but lacked the edge of artists like Dylan. They risked straying into the froofy nature-loving territory of Disney's soundtrack to Pocahontas at times. Having said this, they were accomplished musicians. Davyd Nereo managed to make his guitar sound as if it were two, and he brought in a mandolin. Ayla Nereo has a lovely voice, which lends itself well to folk songs, and interestingly took the lower part to the harmonies of her brother and band mate. They were also plugging a CD, Wonder Continental, that was released back in May.

I almost don't want to even mention the first opener, the Blank Tapes ... I wished I had been listening to blank tapes. This man took himself way too seriously, and to be completely honest played terrible, terrible music. To make matters worse he couldn't even sing. He started the set with a rip off of Snow Machine's "Birmingham," using exactly the same piano part, and then had the audacity to do it again at the end of the set with another Snow Machine rip off. This guy actually stole complete songs from a great indie pop band from Alabama and thought no one would know. Sorry to end the article on such a negative note, but what the fuck?

- Liz Barnes - The Deli SF

"All My Pretty Ones a San Francisco treat"

When the psychedelic music movement gyrated in vans and on phonographs across the globe, Scott MacKenzie's "San Francisco" in 1967 highlighted the location of what would become the center of the flower power generation. This harmonizing style backed by a PEACELOVEHOPE mentality still resides in The City by the Bay; namely, with the hometown fivesome of All My Pretty Ones.

Much like MacKenzie's influence within The Mama's and the Papa's, lead singer and songwriter Derek Schmidt's direction has become paramount to AMPO's burgeoning success. Although the overall aura of the group doesn't compound such a psychedelic feel, the laid-back folk appeal encompasses the likes of generations who swayed to the foggy mist of San Fran.

Led by the musings of Schmidt, who also plays the guitar, piano and ukulele, and the expansive talents of Genessa Kealoha (upright bass), Jesse Wade (guitar, mandolin), Jocelyn Bentley-Prestwich (oboe) and Matt Payne (percussion, accordian, trombone), All My Pretty Ones has so far composed a clean kinetic sound rich with classical and modern folk flavor.

The pure feel from songs such as "Do or Don't" and "Icicles" portrays a generated effort far from the wild child groove from the 1960s, but the emotion contained within definitely showcases these artists as a single unit with a clear conceived vision compliments of many aspiring musicians working under a single songwriter.

Tone Poems marks the first full-length release since Threadbare in 2005 for the group. They also released their Handsbreadth EP in 2006. - Music Under Fire

"All My Pretty Ones: Tone Poems"

Two years since releasing the Handsbreath EP, the Bay Area folk group All My Pretty Ones return with their debut full-length, Tone Poems. A mix of brand new and previously recorded tracks, the record transcends the somewhat limiting "folk" classification seems limiting. While the disc's 11 songs are heavily based around traditional folk ingredients (acoustic guitar and vocal harmonies) the collective's eclectic musicianship shifts through bluegrass to rock and even jazz.

Lead by singer and guitarist Derek Schmidt, members Genessa Kealoha, Jesse Wade, Jocelyn Bentley-Prestwich and Matt Payne indelibly color each song. Using a wide assortment of string, brass and reed instruments, they transform Schmidt's modest guitar numbers into lush, fully-realized orchestrations.

You can buy Tone Poems through CD Baby or catch an upcoming performance. - Doug Black -

"All My Pretty Ones - Tone Poems"


A wonderful debut for this local outfit of 7. “Tone Poems” is the result of a great collaboration of talents. The album feels intimate yet orchestral, offering a variety of sounds including those of the less often heard: ukulele, mandolin, oboe, accordion and trombone. In eleven tracks we see an array of sweet-tempered tones brightening and darkening up from the gentle delights of opening track, “Do or Don’t” and making full circle with “All Together Now,” a pleasant weaving of vocals and harmonies. An honest album for all audiences- and if you like Iron & Wine, you’ll definitely be hooked. -Vanessa Ta - ASHCAN Magazine

"Your Daily Lick: All My Pretty Ones "Tone Poems" (self-released)"

The beautiful vocal harmonies of the opening seconds set Tone Poems off on the right foot, then proceed to weave magic through all 48 minutes. Prominent piano and oboe work further distinguish All My Pretty Ones' indie folk, while frontman Derek Schmidt's songs, as somber as they are riveting, make for an emotional, head-on listening experience.

At the Uptown (1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) on Mar. 18. 9 p.m., free

-Nate Seltenrich - East Bay Express


Tone Poems (2008)
Handsbreadth - EP (2006)
Threadbare (2005)



The acoustic instrumentation and vocal harmonies of San Francisco based ensemble All My Pretty Ones invoke all the familiarity and comfort of the best classic folk and indie artists, but it's the band's extraordinarily innovative approach to songwriting and arranging that set them a prairie apart from other americana-inspired musical groups. All My Pretty Ones represents a collaborative engine fueled by songwriter Derek Schmidt, whose work draws as much from classical composition, musical theatre and contemporary poetry as it does from 60's folk music and current independent artists. Derek's journey as a composer and lyricist started when the premature deaths of his parents compelled him to turn to music and his creativity for solace and a means of expression. Derek's compositions both acknowledge and exorcise his tumultuous past through songs that explore not only anxiety, escapism and loneliness, but also the (re)affirmation of life through friends, lovers and the greater world around him. The project collectively known as All My Pretty Ones began when Derek's interest in being a solo singer/songwriter had run its course. Wanting to elaborate further on his songs - originally crafted for piano and guitar - he assembled a group of musicians who enjoy the process of arrangement as much as he does. The backgrounds and influences of collective members Genessa Kealoha, Jesse Wade, Jocelyn Bentley-Prestwich, Matt Payne and Michael Carreira range from Experimental to Classical to Bluegrass and even Emo and Jazz. The challenge of composing for and working with such a talented and diverse group - all of whom contribute extensively to the musical arrangements - has enhanced Derek's distinct songwriting style precipitously. The challenge of interpreting Derek's unconventional and stunning songs has inspired these musicians to the peak of their creative abilities. The end result is beautiful and unlike anything in popular music today. The end result is All My Pretty Ones.