Money is a necessary evil … or maybe just evil. It depends upon your point of view. What's remarkable about Danny Schmidt's 2009 full-length Instead the Forest Rose to Sing is the way it tugs at the subject of cash and how people get it without unraveling its mystery.
A native of Austin, Texas, Schmidt is a folkie possessed of a bemused voice that hints at detachment. Forest Rose is musically conventional — acoustic guitars predominate. But Schmidt's lyrics are often startling. “Two Timing Bank Robber's Lament" concerns a man who is out to impress a seductive woman with his newfound money: “Your money smells like vinyl, honey / Old money smells like suede," she tells the song's protagonist.
Elsewhere, Schmidt has his say about old age and the suppressed rage of men who can't get paid. It's tough, brave stuff, and well worth your time and money.