Tim Young (Guitar)
When not performing with ZenLand, Tim Young can be seen playing nightly on the CBS Late, Late Show with James Corden.
Late, Late Show band and Leader, Reggie Watts, commenting on the band's guitarist: "Tim Young is one of the most brilliant musicians I've ever met. He's an incredible guitar player, genius, photographic memory, and a great natural kind of... he's like the AD (assistant director). He kind of can band lead the band when I'm facing forward, he can organize stuff."
Timothy Young is a masterfully diverse West Coast guitarist whose skills have enlivened a slew of recordings and shows over the years, often as a collaborator, sideman, or session player rather than bandleader. Able to leap from heavy metal crunch to extended jazz-funk jamming, twangy Americana, effects-laden experimentalism, and Hendrixian pyrotechnics, he has also veered away from his straight guitar-playing role into realms of artful indie pop -- for example, putting a singular spin on the Bacharach/David chestnut "Walk on By" with his wife Eryn in the Youngs. Difficult to place in easily defined stylistic categories, Young's far-reaching talents have made notable contributions to a broad spectrum of somewhat off-center American music. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Timothy Young (also credited as Tim on a number of albums) began playing guitar at the age of five and had been in a variety of bands through his high-school years until moving to Seattle in 1988, where he enrolled at the Cornish College of the Arts and began establishing his credentials on the Seattle music scene. Among his longest-lasting early groups were the Scallywags, a trio also featuring bassist Mike Coffey and drummer Mike Stone; formed in 1990, the band was together for nearly a decade and released the album Tourette's Syndrome -- featuring such notable tunes as "Generic Frenchie Homicide Getaway Theme," "Zombie Orgy," "Stare into the Eye of the Potatoe," and "I Like Everything Now!" -- in 1995.
Having connected with a sizable gang of Seattle collaborators by the mid-'90s, Young assembled the likes of Coffey, Stone, accordionist Elaine di Falco, bassist Fred Chalenor, percussionist Ed Pias, saxophonist Skerik, Cornish College graduate (and later adjunct instructor) violist/violinist Eyvind Kang, Cornish College faculty member and longstanding jazz trombonist Julian Priester, and many others for the recording of his first solo album, With Very Special People, co-produced by Tucker Martine and released by Endless Records in 1997. A head-spinningly diverse Zappa- and Beefheart-esque pastiche of hyper-swinging bop-rock, soundtracky cabaret jazz, flaming guitar workouts, ominous Phantom of the Opera-esque organ, and ethnic fusoid collaging, the album also featured Young reaching well past his guitar fretboard to take on drums, vocals, piano, Moog, bass, banjo, Casio, Hammond organ, and the ever-important "psychotic flappers," while writing all the tracks (given such titles as "Molecular Doggies," "Stewed Meats & Lentil Pastes," and "What F*&%ing Planet Is This, Anyway?!"). The year after With Very Special People arrived, the Scallywags called it quits, and Young promptly set about forming, along with keyboardist Paul Moore, the tongue-in-cheek warped pop outfit Very Special Forces, which released a whacked-out satirical eponymous album in 2000. Meanwhile, Young burnished his credentials with session and touring work, appearing on various Tzadik label albums by Kang, touring with David Sylvian in 2001 and 2002, and sharing guitar duties with Bill Frisell on Robin Holcomb's 2002 album, The Big Time, among other activities. However, Young probably garnered his widest recognition from the '90s into the 2000s as the guitarist for Zony Mash, the Seattle-based avant jazz-funk jam band formed by keyboardist/composer Wayne Horvitz in 1995. Proving to be a highly inventive funk, jazz, and blues-informed stylist (imagine Steve Cropper meets David Torn jamming with the Grateful Dead) and able foil to Horvitz's keyboard playing, Young featured prominently on three Zony Mash albums released by New York's Knitting Factory Works label -- Cold Spell (1997), Brand Spankin' New (1998), and Upper Egypt (2000) -- and a fourth album, Live in Seattle (2002), issued by Liquid City Records, before the band called it quits in 2003. Horvitz also assembled Zony Mash's members, including Young, to record two acoustic albums for the Vancouver-based Songlines label, 2000's American Bandstand (subsequently reissued as Forever after Dick Clark took exception to the original title) and 2001's Sweeter Than the Day. Young also appeared on Farewell Shows, recorded at the electric Zony Mash's final Seattle gigs in December 2003 and released by the Kufala label in 2004 -- which turned out to be a banner year for boutique label releases of albums featuring Young in a variety of roles. In 2003, Tim formed the power trio, THRUSTER, with Kneebody bassist Kaveh Rastegar and Pear Jam/Soundgarden drummer Matt Chamberlain. The band continues to perform.
In 2011, Young released the second album under his name alone, Gravitational Lensing, an often
monstrously heavy but occasionally atmospheric and lyrical guitar-bass-drums trio record also featuring
THRUSTER! bassist Kaveh Rastegar along with drummer Nate Wood (the latter of whom, like Rastegar,
is a member of Kneebody). After moving from Chicago to L.A., drummer/composer Dylan Ryan tapped
Young for the trio Sand, also including Nels Cline Singers bassist Devin Hoff in the lineup. Another fine
vehicle for Young's guitar artistry, Sand released two albums on the Cuneiform label: 2013's
Sky Bleached and 2014's Circa.
Guitar wizard Tim Young has released his first album for Waxsimile Music. Tim and his band, The Questionaires (Danny Frankel/drums, Jon Ossman/bass and Peter Adams/keys) play a hearty brew of Rock, Bop, and Highbrow, sure to satisfy the most discerning musical appetite. Tim also plays guitar five nights a week in the house band for CBS TV's Late, Late Show with James Corden, led by Music Director (and close friend) Reggie Watts. Along wiith Tim’s contribution, the band’s spontaneous style has re-written the role music plays in late night entertainment.