Doug Schmude
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Doug Schmude

Irvine, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF

Irvine, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2004
Solo Americana Acoustic

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"A Rare Story-Telling Rootsy Americana Talent in the Grand Tradition."

A Rare Story-Telling Rootsy Americana Talent in the Grand Tradition.

As Santa starts pulling on his boots in readiness for grooming the reindeer, I’m still playing ‘catch up’ with reviews from November! Some have already fallen by the wayside, but I can’t let 2018 fade away without telling you about this charming album from son of Baton Rouge Doug Schmude (rhymes with moody apparantly).
For once it was a combination of the CD’s artwork and the artiste’s quirky name that drew my attention to this disc two months ago, which has led to several ‘listening sessions’ each of which has helped unfurl ever more from Shmude’s clever and intelligent songwriting.
As always I judge albums by their opening track and Setting Fires on the Moon ticks every box I have; a fascinating love story sung by a warmly distinctive voice over a rather lovely melody. What’s not to like?
Even Mrs. Magpie found herself tapping her toes to Silas James; but there’s so much more to this snapshot of small-town Middle America than a catchy tune. Who among us won’t have their imagination piqued by the opening lines;
“His Hair was whiter as the white album,
eyes as Blue as a Skip James song,
he knew music like the B-Side of his hand,
a song for every problem known to man!”
loosely reminding me of my Favourite Song of all time, Mark Germino’s Rex Bob Lowenstein, this is one for all of us. OK it’s a bit of a fantasy song to me; but I really hope Silas James really did exist.
This is followed by the darkly brooding Worry Stone which feature some delicious fiddle playing by Georgina Hennessy, and is a very clever story in a Jackson Brown kind of way. As I said at the beginning, it’s one of the songs that slowly unravel the more you hear it.
One song especially fascinates me; and it’s one of those songs that make people like me with no talent at all, sit back in awe as they listen. My Daddy’s Musket is something of a historical tale about the Civil Way on the surface; but touches on many things that effect people; especially in the USA today. Congratulations all round chaps and chapesses.
Mostly this is a Singer-Songwriter album that straddles the Rootsy edges of Country and the prosaic edge of Modern Folk, but there’s a rocky side to Doug Schmude too; with Salt being a moody Lo-Fi assault on the senses; and one I love to bits!
The album closes with the rather delicate title track Burn These Pages, a songwriter’s song in some ways, as it feels like you are intruding on a man’s personal thoughts at times. But that’s the art of the songwriter isn’t it?
I’m troubled as to what to choose for my Favourite Song; Silas James certainly has it’s merits as does the haunting Chris Knight song Enough Rope; another intense Lo-Fi rocker that’s chock full of dirty electric guitar and a story-line that Springsteen would have been proud to have written circa The River; but I’m going for the stunning El Tren de la Muerte, a thoughtful ‘Border Song’ in the mould of Tom Russell and Dave Alvin that will surely turn up on albums by Schmude’s contemporary’s in years to come.
There’s a whole lot to like here on Doug Schmude’s 4th release; especially the very mature songwriting and the clever production which can be claustrophobic when necessary but also allowing room for songs to breath and slowly filter into your subconscious. - Rocking Magpie


"Doug is a musician worth paying attention to."

The great thing about music, and particularly Americana, is that it comes in all sorts of shapes and forms. Songs to make you cry, to make you drink, to get you off your seat and to jam to. Doug Schmude is no different, and I haven’t quite heard much like him in the genre. Comparable to bands like Blink 182 or All American Rejects, he has added a deal of twang and instrumentation, as well as lyrical depth, making an interesting, messy and worthwhile album.

Musically similar to bands like the Turnpike Troubadours (and he even enlisted the fiddle virtuoso Kyle Nix to appear), the vocals create the punk pop/rock sound on top of the traditional backing. ‘’Small Town Eulogy’’ is a real highlight, with a barn-storming string backing and foot-tapping rhythm, the song carries a lot of momentum through the record.

Variety appears in the much less upbeat ‘’One Thing Left To Say’’ which carries a lot of melody based on vocal harmony and an understated backing carried by strings and rhythmical percussion. It’s the closest the record comes to a ballad, and it is a nice twist after quite a few more upbeat songs veering closer to Americana-Punk.

‘’Why’s It Take A Funeral’’ is a fantastic example of Doug’s writing style on the record. Whilst not being poetic in the way of a writer like Jason Isbell, the style is so real, perhaps a bit clunky at times, but that is what distinguishes independent musicians: everyone has their own style and it is all real.

Doug is a musician worth paying attention to. His writing is honest, the music is real and inspires different feelings through the record, and perhaps might be even better at a live show. I intend to attend if he comes over to see for myself, but in the meantime the record is here adding some punk to Americana. - Americana UK


Discography

A New Century - Lost Hubcap Records

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Bio

A string of license plates from the likes of Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Colorado, Arizona and California hang above the guitars in Doug Schmude’s recording studio. A firm believer in the principle that life is as much about what happens as where you’re standing when it does, Doug’s music reflects the perspective that living in 8 different states imparts upon a person. His songs contain vividly drawn characters from all walks of life and stories from ever changing viewpoints. His latest record, Burn These Pages, was released independently on his own label (Lost Hubcap) and was self-produced. The songs all start with a foundation of Roots Americana and mix in equal parts rock, blues, indie rock and a dash of grunge. The result is a modern Americana sound that would appeal to fans of Jason Isbell, Ryan Bingham, John Mellencamp and Steve Earle. Doug plays the majority of the acoustic & electric guitars, bass, mandolin, lap steel guitar, Dobro and even drums on a few tracks. The album features a guest appearance by Oklahoma Singer Songwriter Carter Sampson. 

Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Doug Schmude (Pronounced as to rhyme with moody) spent most of his formative years in Oklahoma and Texas. He honed his songwriting in the late 1990's while performing in and around Boulder, Colorado. In 2000, he relocated to Nashville to further develop his craft. While in Tennessee, he was nominated for several awards through his work with the acoustic blues duo Hot Foot Delta. Currently based out of Southern California, his music is littered with souvenirs of the places he has lived and seen.

His debut CD, A New Century, was nominated for an Orange County Music Award. His live performances include journeys into Delta Blues, which are backed by percussive resonator guitar playing, often pounding on the guitar for rhythmic accent. Although he predominately writes and performs on acoustic guitar and resonator slide guitar, he also plays harmonica, mandolin and banjo. In addition to songwriting, recording and performing, Doug lends his talents as a session guitarist, recording engineer and producer.