Claudia Schmidt // Rachael Davis
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October 7 @ 8:00 pm $20
Michigan native Claudia Schmidt has covered a lot of musical ground, beginning with a stirring rendition of “Tammy” at age 4 around a neighborhood bonfire. Then came years of choirs, a guitar, a dulcimer, and some theater thrown into the pot. Over four decades of mostly original songs exploring folk, blues, and jazz idioms, she has created a repertory full of the stuff of life itself. A musician who has always hated categories, Claudia describes herself as a “creative noisemaker.” Her concerts are so unified and full of life that one critic has described a Claudia Schmidt concert as “a lot like falling in love. You never know what’s going to happen next, chances are it’s going to be wonderful, every moment is burned into your memory, and you know you’ll never be the same again.”
Claudia is joined on the bill by Michigan songwriter and frequent Steppin’ in It collaborator Rachael Davis, who was born in Lansing and grew up in Cadillac. What grabs you first about Rachael is the voice, with a bluesy richness that will make you pull off the road to listen. Add in some incisive songwriting, and you have a Michigan artist with a strong and growing following. Says songwriter Susan Werner: “We don’t have Eva Cassidy anymore, but we do have Rachael Davis.” For the first time at age 12, and continuing each year since, Rachael has brought the Wheatland Music Festival to its knees closing the Sunday morning gospel set with her stunning solo a capella version of “Amazing Grace.”