A lifetime in the making, Nashville-based singer/songwriter Dan Schaefer’s Where the Days are Golden touches the spirit and mind with fourteen walls-down vignettes of longing, loss and uplifting redemption. The new record showcases an artist at his creative and philosophical peak, fearlessly taking on a myriad of personal and societal issues and framing them in infinitely satisfying musical environments.
“There’s a Place” is a modern-day take on West Side Story, set in the American South. “Reunion of Souls” imagines an afterlife gathering with dearly-departed friends and family. “Sunset Glow” chronicles the pure joy felt during a perfect, beautiful moment and the desire to carry that feeling forward. “Life on Earth” is a message to a friend adapting to the emptiness that accompanies a great loss. “Red Spray Paint” is a first-hand account of high school bullying and its lasting effects. “How it Flies” is a collection of parables advising the listener to maintain a grip on all that is truly precious. “Jerry Falwell’s Judgment Day” wonders aloud what the famed evangelist might have learned the day he met his maker.
If 2010’s acclaimed Wild Ideas was a catchy collection of commercial hits-in-waiting, 2011’s follow-up provides a dramatic juxtaposition as it goes deeper, straight to the heart of the human condition. The new record catches the ear upon first listen, but the real reward is the thought this collection provokes in the mind of each listener as time passes. A dive into Where the Days are Golden leads to a thoughtful, peaceful, introspective place far beneath the surface, and it’s a trip well worth taking.