Tuesday, December 1, 2009
– Great American Taxi, the band fronted by Leftover Salmon's lead vocalist, is coming out with its second disc, "Reckless Habits," on March 2.
The Jam band circuit group, which is releasing the 14 songs, including a hidden track, through Thirty Tigers, is led by Vince Herman. The sound is comprised of swampy blues, bluegrass, New Orleans sounds, Southern boogie, honky tonk, gospel and rock. The music was recorded in Loveland, Col., with producer Tim Carbone (from Railroad Earth).
When banjo player Mark Vann of Leftover Salmon died of cancer in 2002, the band lost momentum. Salmon singer/guitarist/mandolinist Vince Herman had a few rough years and survived a broken neck before joining keyboardist Chad Staehly for a jam to benefit the Rainforest Action Group in Boulder in March 2005. "We put together a dream band of the best local musicians for a one-off gig," Herman said. "It worked so well we had to do it again, and again, and again."
The band's current lineup includes Herman, Staehly, guitarist Jim Lewin, bassist Brian Adams and drummer Chris Sheldon.
Great American Taxi has been compared with roots rockers like New Riders of the Purple Sage, Grateful Dead, Wilco, Uncle Tupelo, the Byrds and Little Feat.
"We're definitely connected to all the acts in the country/rock spectrum, as well as the spirit of Gram Parsons and Woody Guthrie," he said. "We want to address the issues appropriate to our times, while making music that gets people up and moving."
"The band is a true democracy," Staehly said. "We tinkered with the tunes on the road, with everybody having input. In the studio, Tim would suggest ideas to make them sound bigger and brighter."
Carbone brought in the Black Swan Singers - Sheryl Renee, CoCo Brown and Shelly Lindsey - to add gospel flavored backing vocals. He also brought the Peak to Freak Horns - Justin Jones, sax; Nathan Peoples, sax; Dan Sears, trumpet; and Dave Stamps, trombone - for some New Orleans-style brass accents, as well as pedal steel player Barry Sless (Dane Nelson Band, Moonalice) and banjo man Matt Flinner.
The CD will be housed in a die-cut package designed by artist Greg Carr, who designed Steve Martin's The Crow. "Greg has a picture of nuns smoking on the cover, wearing Reckless Habits," Herman said. "We want to give people something unique, so they won't just burn it and pass it on."