Daniel Young is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, drummer, sound engineer, and producer from Salt Lake City. He grew up on the side of a tall mountain, and that sense of forceful elevation informs all of his work. Daniel’s been recording and performing for over two decades—and he’s not that old, which tells you much of what you need to know about his commitment to craft, about how deep this runs with him.
I’ve been personally involved in some of these projects and can testify to the guileless intensity to everything he does, the magic touch and the magic trick. There’s no better companion in song. But Daniel does other things. One night I watched him, in harness boots and a pearl-button shirt, hit a steady stream of fastballs off a batting-cage pitching machine; I don’t think he’d ever seen pitches that fast, but he never flinched, never lifted a foot, just swung straight through. Those cages are gone now but I’ll never forget what that scene taught me about the true of Daniel’s instincts. We’ve played many dozens of rounds of pool—I’ll never beat him. Those kind of sneaky skills.
On the sunset side of the ground floor of Daniel Young’s home studio, there’s a window that frames a long, straight road. And if you catch it when the light’s right, you could swear that road goes on and on—west west west—straight through the Oquirrh Mountains. Nevada. California. It’s not hard to imagine that window, that unridden road, and these songs of Young’s all shuffled together, ace side up, this past spring and summer. Sometimes you do your hardest traveling at home. That’s the way it seems on The World Ain’t Gonna Wait, Young’s third album. Written on the late-night back porch and mostly recorded in the basement at Orchard Studios, these songs chronicle the urgency and uneasiness of the everyday emergency, the undeniable sense that you may be living your last day—or at least the last day on the world you’ve known.
With guest spots by Sadler Vaden (guitar) of Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Trevor Nealon (b3 organ) of the Band of Heathens, Jay Lapp (mandolin) and Eric Brubaker (fiddle) of the Steel Wheels, The World Ain’t Gonna Wait also features the final session of local luminary Pat Campbell (drums). If the threat level ever falls, we can give thanks that these sounds will keep rolling on—west west west. Winnemucca. Wells. Rolling.
Musically, the bleary blend of country, rock & roll, and greasy blues is augmented by cosmic Dead-style extended jams, Burrito-worthy grooves, and West Coast melodicism. Like so many before him, Daniel has sought solace in desert places, including a pilgrimage to the Joshua Tree Inn to find the spirit of his idol Gram Parsons. The World Ain’t Gonna Wait bears witness of those spaces, those journeys. Go with him, if you can—you may not know it yet but you’re probably heading there anyway.
– B. Child