What People Are Saying
“There is a sweetness and an elegance to Dan Schatz’s music, a deep reverence for tradition that reminds us why we fell in love with folk music in the first place. A seasoned songwriter himself, here he’s limited his own songs in favor of paying tribute to the musical roots he knows so well; when the roots run deep, the trees stand tall. Listening to the quietly restrained instrumental and vocal skill with which he approaches each song, the unhurried grace and respect he bestows on every person about whom he sings, we are reminded that it truly is a gift to be simple. In this magnificent album, Dan Schatz passes that gift on to us.”
- Si Kahn
“Frankly, I like knowing that the groundwork laid by Pete and Woody took seed and carries through generations.”
- Cathy Fink
"Dan Schatz has created an album that shows the connection between our treatment of the environment and the lives of the people who bring us the food we eat. On his new CD The Promise of the Sowing, Dan sings both to and for the 'farmers, field hands and fisherfolk' the people who depend on the ability of this planet to produce the food that each of us rely on to survive. The collection addresses the symbiotic relationship we all have, and does so in a highly entertaining and inspiring fashion....
"The CD concludes with one of the most inspiring versions that I have ever heard of Jean Ritchie’s 'Now is the Cool of the Day.' Dan’s respectful version of this song features a simple banjo accompaniment and a chorus of the guest artists. Jean wrote the song that uses a biblical image of the earth and explores the covenant we have with the land. It is powerful and fitting way to bring this CD to a conclusion....
"Today when we listen to the news, pickup a newspaper, or read comments on Facebook pages, we often find disturbing stories about the condition of this planet as well as arguments from individuals who disagree on the path to take. A listen to The Promise of the Sowing reminds us that we are sustained by a family of individuals who harvest the field, fish the streams and oceans or tend the cattle that eventually makes it to our table. Knowing where our food sources come from and learning about the lives of the people who make it possible may give us a greater respect for the way our planet is treated. It may sound over simplified and clichéd, but the reality is that we are all involved, and as Dan points our through his music, as a community we can make a difference."
- Ron Olesko, Sing Out!
"Dan Schatz’s 'Thousand Miles Blues' is as blissful and heartfelt a version of the song as you could wish for."
- Pop Matters
"The list of contributors to [Dear Jean] reads like an international Who's Who of folk and American roots music - and then some! The roster of best-known artists alone, drawn from the topmost drawers of the American folk, roots and bluegrass scenes, includes Peggy Seeger, Archie Fisher, Judy Collins, Janis Ian, Tim O'Brien, Dan Schatz, John McCutcheon, Kathy Mattea, Suzy Bogguss and Robin & Linda Williams…"
- David Kidman, Fatea Magazine
"The last time I ran across Dan Schatz was when reviewing the superb Singing through the Hard TimesA Tribute to Utah Philips, an outstanding collective of musicians (Schatz included), honoring the late folk legend. That effort rightfully earned him a Grammy nomination. Now, he's stepped back to concentrate on his own work in a marvelous CD/book combination that features not only his tunes but also writings and commentary. The Song and the Sigh is a time machine back to the American and European folk wave of the 60s and 70s, when the rime of much older days still hung nicely on the movement.
"Though more than a few tangs of the estimable Pete Seeger make their way into the repertoire, one is far more reminded of the era in England that saw Pentangle, Jansch & Renbourn, Keith Christmas, Dave Cousins & the early Strawbs, Steeleye Span, Ralph McTell, and others who still hold a special place in the history. The a cappella A Little Gracefulness is particularly pleasing, reminding us that before the Manhattan Transfer came along, there was a much older tradition afoot, one that could still use a little more revival, as herefollowed by the perhaps even more beautiful Daylight Song, the point is driven home.
"More than once, Schatz's sentiments remind of Guy Mendilow's gentle exhortations to come together to find peace and harmony rather than strife and pain. Mendilow tends to a Hebrew/Jewish viewpoint, and Schatz is a Unitarian Universalist minister but all such POVS and mindsets are inextricably linked and kindred. The entire CD revolves around this spirit, and Schatz located an assemblage of singers and players who complement his own voice and fingerpicking perfectly. Again, for those of us who grew up in that period, this CD is a very strong remembrance of the days when Tyrannosaurus Rex, Tir Na Nog, the vastly undersung Strawbs, even Pete Sinfield in some of his solo work, and precious few others were making folk music that dipped strongly backwards while moving forwards, a bridge to freely travel worlds and a reminder thatin the brutal world of rampant conservatism, war, and capitalism (redundant?)gentility, consideration, and beauty still have a place, thank God."
- Mark Tucker, FAME Reviews
"While listening to Dan Schatz I was reminded of the many folk song interpreters I listened to as I was just starting to enjoy traditional music. Most of us didn't start off listening to source material or field recordings as we began our individual journeys, we let the interpreters do the heavy lifting and we followed their direction.
"Dan is a multi-intstrumentalist (Appalachian dulcimer, autoharp, banjo and guitar) and Bring the Morning Home is a collection of some of the best and most requested songs Dan has been writing and performing for the last fifteen years....
"The CD opens with the title track, a song written about an annual musical gathering. The gentle sentiment describes love found in the company of friends and good music. "Roustabout" from the playing of Fred Cockerham follows. Dan's autoharp accompaniment and sweet vocal delivery create a new feeling for this usually raucus banjo tune. "Leave Time"... is a song about ending one voyage and the beginning of a new one. The backing vocals and twelve-string guitar are particularly lovely....
"Bring the Morning Home by Dan Schatz is a magical collection of traditional and original songs that given the chance will stay with you for a very long time."
- Sing Out! Magazine, 2007
“A talented multi-instrumentalist, Dan Schatz plays and sings both traditional folk-songs and contemporary gems that sound like they’ve been polished forever.”
"Dan is one of the true talents in this world of ours. He has a rare gift with the turning of the phrase. It was his song "May this Fire" that first caught my attention, and on hearing it once, knew I would have to record it at some point. He is like the perfect storm....captures a sentiment, wraps it up in beautiful lyrics, surrounds it with instrumental technique to die for, and sings with a voice one could only wish to have. You will not regret spending a night with him, in fact you will hear him once and know that you will have to hear him again."
- Mick Lane
"The May 14th Dan Schatz concert was wonderful in every way. We very nearly filled every seat, and everyone lucky enough to be there enjoyed a great performance. Dan’s traditional folk singing style came complete with lots of background stories, sparkling wit, and invitations to sing along. During the evening he entertained us with 5 different stringed instruments two guitars, two autoharps and a banjo in addition to his clear, wonderful singing voice. He performed not only traditional folk songs, some centuries old, but also more contemporary songs, many written by Dan himself. The concert was wonderful, and the fact that UUSD made a nice little profit makes it that much sweeter."
- Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware
Well I knew Dan was a good musician but I didn't know HOW good until last night. I'd seen him perform at mini concerts and workshops, and listened to his CD but it's entirely different to experience his music in a concert setting. He put together two wonderful sets, almost all traditional, but he did include a couple of his own songs - "May This Fire Warm You Well" and "Leave Time". There was a great variety of material including Old Timey, spiritual, labor movement songs, blues (with an autoharp!) and ballads, and lots of instruments - a six string and a twelve string guitar, two banjos (one was a fretless gourd banjo) and two autoharps, which he played expertly. He sprinkled humor throughout the evening and charmed the audience.... The closing song couldn't have been better chosen - Utah Phillips "Singing Through the Hard Times". It rounded out the evening beautifully.
- Mary Smith, Richmond Folk Music Society
“As a songwriter and musician Dan Schatz proves himself to be a superb talent... this artist has put together a truly fine album of contemporary folk songs from his own pen that deserve a great deal of merit and attention. His performance as a singer and instrumentalist shine with equal brilliance; he has that unique talent to make the style of the song come through his instrumental performances and create a distinctive mood that clearly comes from his heart.... Each octave on his autoharp has something different to do which underscores his versatility and originality.”
reviewer Charles Whitmer
“Dan is an especially fine musician and a real talented individual who’s got his ear in the right place as far as those of us who enjoy traditional music and music that’s been influenced by tradition.”