Multi-instrumentalist and powerhouse singer Claudia Schmidt has been bringing her blend of folk, jazz, and blues to audiences for some four decades now, and this 16-track set serves a sort of primer to her career. Collecting tracks from her five albums from Red House Records, and featuring guest spots from members of Beausoleil, Violent Femmes, J.J. Farley & the Original Soul Stirrers, and Tom Waits' crackerjack junkyard touring band, it shows that Schmidt is and was much more than a folk singer. It also spotlights her sharp songwriting, with only one traditional song ("Wayfaring Stranger") included -- the rest were written by Schmidt.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett