Zach Schmidt has been waiting for this moment. His second full-length album Raise A Banner (out on April 16) was recorded and slated for a 2020 release but shelved along with so many other projects from artists around the world. Despite the delay – perhaps in a silver lining moment – the album’s themes are now more apropos than ever: fighting through hardship, searching for truth in a world of lies, enduring personal loss.
Produced by Sadler Vaden at Nashville’s Creative Workshop, Raise A Banner is a long-jumper’s leap forward for Schmidt and an exclamatory flag-planting of a commanding voice in the Americana genre, establishing him amongst the ilk with whom he recorded. Backing him throughout the album is Jason Isbell’s The 400 Unit (Jimbo Hart, Chad Gamble, Derry Deboria, and Vaden, with Isbell even contributing electric guitar on the barn-burning Foregone Conclusion), and longtime contributors, vocalist Jackie Berkley and pedal steel wingman Adam Kurtz.Like some moments in life, on Raise A Banner sometimes it takes the pauses and the quieter moments to balance the effusive; when you really have to listen for you to hear the power of what’s being said. Raise A Banner is that silver lining moment for Zach Schmidt.
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