Oakland , CA
The acoustic instrumentation and vocal harmonies of San Francisco based ensemble All My Pretty Ones invoke all the familiarity and comfort of the best classic folk and indie artists, but it's the band's extraordinarily innovative approach to songwriting and arranging that set them a prairie apart from other americana-inspired musical groups. All My Pretty Ones represents a collaborative engine fueled by songwriter Derek Schmidt, whose work draws as much from classical composition, musical theatre and contemporary poetry as it does from 60's folk music and current independent artists. Derek's journey as a composer and lyricist started when the premature deaths of his parents compelled him to turn to music and his creativity for solace and a means of expression. Derek's compositions both acknowledge and exorcise his tumultuous past through songs that explore not only anxiety, escapism and loneliness, but also the (re)affirmation of life through friends, lovers and the greater world around him. The project collectively known as All My Pretty Ones began when Derek's interest in being a solo singer/songwriter had run its course. Wanting to elaborate further on his songs - originally crafted for piano and guitar - he assembled a group of musicians who enjoy the process of arrangement as much as he does. The backgrounds and influences of collective members Genessa Kealoha, Jesse Wade, Jocelyn Bentley-Prestwich and Matt Payne range from Experimental to Classical to Bluegrass and even Emo and Jazz. The challenge of composing for and working with such a talented and diverse group - all of whom contribute extensively to the musical arrangements - has enhanced Derek's distinct songwriting style precipitously. The challenge of interpreting Derek's unconventional and stunning songs has inspired these musicians to the peak of their creative abilities. The end result is beautiful and unlike anything in popular music today. The end result is All My Pretty Ones.