DI’s longtime photography ace-in-the-hole Josh Miller snapped this keeper backstage before Todd Snider and Great American Taxi kicked serious butt at Marin’s Sweetwater Music Hall. Opener Amanda Shires lent her unique voice and fiery fiddle skills to the evening, too. More thoughts on this evening and a wicked cool photo gallery from James Martin coming later this week. For now, dig this grinning, hirsute, hatted gang. Look at their eyes and you can see the mischief teetering on the edge of being released.
Todd Snider with Great American Taxi and Amanda Shires by Josh Miller
The Impound has been organizing its music archives, and we hit upon the idea of sharing tunes we dig in an alphabetical way. So, for the next few months we’ll be working our way from A-Z with a choice baker’s dozen or so installment each week that includes bands/artists from a single letter.
Our “G” assortment includes double shots from two underdogs that deserve your thorough investigation (Thea Gilmore and Goose Creek Symphony) along with classics from Grand Funk Railroad and the Grateful Dead swimming with fresh sweet meat from Great American Taxi and Ghosts of Jupiter. This one’s got a bit of swing to it, so don’t resist if you get the urge to shuffle in your stocking feet, kids.
Listen to this mix HERE (8tracks embeds still not working properly. Sigh). Track listing below.
You can listen to 8tracks mixes on your iPhone (pick up the app here) and Android (pick up the app here).
While our weekly mix series usually likes to dip heartily into the past and mingle it with the new, this installment is exclusively focused on fresh sounds that are making us kick up our heels. If DI hasn’t already, we’ll be spilling ink on all these artists soon. For now, here are some choice bits from the sonic onslaught out there.
Keyboardist-singer-songwriter Chad Staehly of Dirty Impound faves Great American Taxi brings us another tale from GAT’s recent travels.
Well, we all knew it was the back-breaker of the summer and when it got put up on the calendar we all cringed a little bit but decided we’d pull it off knowing things would slow down considerably afterwards…
I guess you never know what’s going to happen when you head out on “tour”, but this one in particular had all the ingredients for a screenplay writing itself as we went, some type of rockumentary or hard luck movie. Not much comes easy when you and four other guys pile into a Chevrolet Suburban, which for all intent and purposes turns into your home for the coming weeks. Yeah, you know, five grown men, well, “grown” might be exaggerating a bit, after all. I don’t know that anyone in our Suburban would admit to having “grown up” yet; we’re all under-developed enough to live in a sport utility vehicle for 3 weeks. Oh yeah, we didn’t live in the Suburban the entire stretch, we decided that we’d skip sleep for two nights and take a detour to Alaska on the big bird. After we had plotted a course from Colorado to California and then back across to Chicago, Cleveland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, we got a call from our new found friend Jim Stearn about being part of Salmonstock 2011 in Ninilchik, AK, which would be a music festival designed to raise awareness and funds to stop the Pebble Mine on the Kenai Peninsula. We all decided that any chance to go to Alaska is always welcomed and the fact that we could go and play music and be part of a good cause would make it all worthwhile despite having to skip a couple of nights sleep.
Kick off your shoes. Let your toes find the floorboards as you shake off the weight you’ve been carrying around. Press play. Shuffle around maybe even twirl once or twice. No one is watching. It’ll do you good.
If you experience playback problems, pop over to the 8tracks mix page and it should play fine.
Great American Taxi keyboardist-singer Chad Staehly brings us another tale from GAT’s recent travels.
We had been thinking there needed to be a John Hartford music festival for quite some time so when we heard that John Hotzie was putting one together with the Dillman family at the legendary Bill Monroe Music Park in Bean Blossom, IN, we didn’t even bother asking what they wanted to pay us. We were going to be there regardless.
It turned out that we’d basically be shooting halfway across the country in a matter of four days, a quick in and out with the destination being Bean Blossom. We added two bar gigs in Lincoln, NE and Iowa City to help us make our way to Kalamazoo, MI for a date with our good friends [and Impound favorites] Greensky Bluegrass. We were joining them for night one at their annual event opening up the beer garden at band favorite Bell’s Brewery. We were thinking about the Two-Hearted Ale the whole way.
The trip started in a sort of foreboding way as we discussed what to do with the new songs and record Todd Snider had just helped us produce in East Nashville. What’s a band to do that’s been grinding out 160-plus days on the road for the last few years and selling only several thousand of their last CD release, all the while barely making a living? Do we give the songs/album away? Do we quit touring and become a YouTube band? We discussed our lives and how it fit into the life we’ve built in Great American Taxi. I don’t know that we ever came up with a definite answer after hours of discussion…for now it was onto the next show.
Great American Taxi keyboardist-singer Chad Staehly brings a tale from GAT’s recent Austin get-together with Impound super pal Todd Snider, a sublime combination of talents that recalls The Band at their wooly best. Each bunch is awful great on their own, but when their Wonder Twin powers activate, boy howdy!
I’m sitting backstage at the stock in trade venue La Zona Rosa in Austin, TX waiting to sound check and reflecting on what will be the last of a four show run. The idea of it showed up as an offer in my inbox a few months ago with subject line “Fwd: TTT” – the three “T”s representing “Texas, Todd, Taxi.” This couch I’m sitting on here in the green room is damp and smells musty, but the mood is good back here as we all prepare to take one more trip with the “Tipsy Gypsy,” Todd Snider.
Great American Taxi has always been an in the moment type of outfit with the neo-vaudevillian Vince Herman at the helm, but Snider keeps everyone on their toes, too. We’ll get a setlist 10 minutes before the show complete with several songs we’ve never played and possibly have never heard, as well as instructions from Todd that we will play the first two numbers of the night in a completely different arrangement and feel. I’ve heard the comparisons before, but this particular habit of Snider’s seems to be snatched directly from Bob Dylan’s playbook. Just last night at the legendary Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, we played the revered Snider ballad “Play A Train Song” about 10 clicks slower with a different feel, but that’s how he chose to deliver that song last night and we had to be there ready to back him up.