More than a few artists working today owe a debt to Gram Parsons for his music and vision. On their sophomore record, Great American Taxi pay off that debt in full with a Cosmic American mash of country, rock and bluegrass flavored jams that draws sounds from all over the musical map. Just like Parsons would have wanted.
The biggest nod to Parsons comes on the album's title track, a breezy honky tonk number that chronicles Parsons' life story while name checking several of his songs, albums and bands. It does all of this while sounding like a lost track from the Flying Burrito Brothers' "The Gilded Palace of Sin."
While Parsons' fingerprints are present throughout, other influences show as well. The opening One of These Days has a decided Randy Newman/New Orleans vibe. That gives way to the organ driven, moe, and Phish inspired New Millennium Blues. That's not really a surprise considering Great American Taxi front man Vince Herman is a veteran of the jam band circuit from his days with seminal folk-jammers Leftover Salmon. They revive some of that Salmon sound as well on songs like the expansive Unpromised Land and Big Sandy River.
Throw in the Dead inspired American Beauty and the R&B flavored Cold Lonely Town, and you have a well rounded album that fully pays homage to Gram Parsons and his vision of a Cosmic American sound that incorporates all the pages of the American Roots songbook.