Great American Taxi returns to Vail Ale House with a few new faces
If you go ...
What: Great American Taxi.
Where: Vail Ale House.
When: 10 p.m. Friday.
Cost: $10 cover.
More information: Visit http://www.vailalehouse.com.
VAIL — From “The Mother Lode” to “pure gold,” the musicians involved with the latest incarnation of Great American Taxi promise big rewards for their fans.
Back in 2014, the Americana band announced that guitarist and band founder Vince Herman was leaving the band to spend more time on his farm in Oregon and focus on Leftover Salmon. This year, the band has added a few new players to the lineup and spent time in the studio working on a new album, which, according to keyboardist Chad Staehly, might drop this year, but will most likely be released in early 2016.
“We’re finishing up the mixes right now and then we need to ‘shop’ it and hopefully find a record label to help us release it,” Staehly said. “The working title for the album has been ‘The Mother Lode,’ which is a title of a song I wrote on the album. We feel like we might have hit the mother lode with this new line-up and sound we’re working on.”
Producer Tim Carbone, the violinist and singer for Railroad Earth, stepped in to record the band’s latest record at Silo Sound Studios in Denver.
“The sound of the new line-up is pure gold Americana. The songwriting is as sharp as ever and the boys are willing and able to experiment. The guitar playing is mind blowing,” Carbone said.
The band returns to Vail Friday night with a show at the Vail Ale House at 10 p.m. Longtime Taxi fans will find the band is “still Great American Taxi, just with a new paint job and engine,” said Staehly, who answered a few questions for the Vail Daily,
Vail Daily: You guys have some new band additions lately. Tell me about the musicians joining the lineup? Will they be at the Vail show?
Chad Staehly: We’ve shuffled the deck a couple of times in the last couple of years to find the perfect fit for us to continue on. Vince Herman leaves big shoes to be filled but we think we’ve found a great player and songwriter to join us. Arthur Lee Land (www.arthurleeland.com) is now with us on guitar, banjo and a bunch of singing. We also recently changed drummers. Duane Trucks (Hard Working Americans, Widespread Panic, Col. Bruce Hampton) recorded on the new album with us and will play some shows when he can, as well as Nate Barnes (Rose Hill Drive, Ryan Bingham). Arthur and Nate will both be with us for our show at the Ale House on Friday night.
VD: What can you tell us about your new album?
CS: The new record has a significantly different sound than others we’ve done. Aside from the fact that some of the players have changed, we made a conscious effort to propel the songwriting forward and challenge ourselves. There’s recognizable threads from what we’ve done in the past, which always had a focus on having a danceable beat and groove, and that’s all still there but the sounds and framework have expanded greatly on this album.
VD: What was it like to work with Tim Carbone on this project?
CS: We’ve worked with Tim quite a bit, both performing with him and making records. We’ve also done some tours with his band, Railroad Earth. Tim is full of ideas and knows how to execute them. We made an album in 2010 with him called “Reckless Habits” and that’s the record that really put us on the map. We knew we needed a producer on this project to help us sort out the material and execute it in grand fashion. Tim was at the top of the list for producers to work with and he totally delivered. He helped us choose the songs, helped with arrangements and I also had him in on some of the songwriting I did for the record. He also sang and played some string stuff on the album. Tim brings great energy and focus to anything he does and this was no exception. He’s been producing a lot of albums lately out of this great studio in Denver called Silo Sound Studios. He and the owner of the studio, Todd Divel, are doing some great things over there.
VD: I read you guys have some cool festivals you’re performing at later this summer. Tell us where you’ll be. What are you most excited about?
CS: We have a big trip lined up at the beginning of August up to Alaska. We’ve been up there a bunch in the last five years or so and have become the house band for this great festival called SalmonFest Alaska (formerly Salmonstock). They are helping the fight up there to preserve Alaska’s land and resources from various industries who have less than stellar reputations when it comes to what they do to the land extracting natural resources. We’re also playing a festival in Denali and the Blueberry Festival in Girdwood, Alaska at the Alyeska Resort. We love going up there to play, people are so ready for it and want to get down, much like the awesome mountain folk of Colorado.
VD: What can people expect from your show in Vail on Friday?
CS: People can expect a fun, high-energy show with plenty of songs to dance to and sing along to. Those who have seen the band before will find we’re still Great American Taxi, just with a new paint job and engine. Everyone in town for the GoPro Mountain Games come join us for a night of some high mountain boogie. Good times guaranteed.