Listen carefully to Reckless Habits, the second album from Great American Taxi, and you’ll hear a political edge to some of the music created by one of the best country-, rock- and bluegrass-influenced Americana bands in the land. And the band is entirely comfortable bringing its danceable albeit politically-tinged songs to summer festivals.
“Woodie Guthrie was a huge influence for us and we truly believe in the power of song,” said Taxi front man Vince Herman in a recent interview. Songs about hard luck times tend to “hold a man up and make him feel stronger than he is — and they make him feel good about his community. We want to address the issues appropriate to our times, while making music that gets people up and moving.”
Great American Taxi is at ease when it comes to touching upon a serious subject in a song. The New Millennium Blues, a track from the band’s latest album, Reckless Habits, is about the sad state of the U.S. economy. “It’s about how we can’t afford our pickup trucks and how our jobs are all gone overseas,” said Herman.
But no one can accuse Taxi of crying the blues. Even Great American Taxi protest songs are generally up-beat, containing Cajun, calypso, and bluegrass melodies and a retro, ’70s feel — think the Grateful Dead, Wilco, and the Byrds.
“We like to get as much dancing going as possible,” said Herman, who enjoys experimenting with traditional Southern boogie and swampy blues-rock sounds. Herman says of festival crowds, “People are at their best at festivals — maybe because they can get away from the rest of the world and feel like they’re on holiday.”
Taxi’s latest CD release, Reckless Habits, climbed to #3 and remains in the top ten for spins on both the Jambands.com radio chart and the Colorado radio chart, complemented by two months in the top 25 on the Americana radio chart.
GREAT AMERICAN TAXI ON THE ROAD, 2010
Wed., Aug. 11 SEATTLE WA Tractor Tavern
Fri., Aug. 13 RED DEER, AB CANADA Central Music Festival
Sat., Aug. 14 WHITEFISH, MT Stumptown Summer Hoedown – Armory Fields
Fri., Aug. 20 ALMA, CO THC Fest – Alma’s Only Bistro
Sat., Aug. 21 WELLSTON, MI Hoxeyville Festival
Sun., Aug. 22 FORT COLLINS, CO Bohemian Nights @ New West Fest
Sat., Aug. 28, 2:30 p.m. NEDERLAND, CO Nedfest
Sat., Aug. 28, 10 p.m. FORT COLLINS, CO Hodi’s Half Note
Sun., Sept. 5 DENVER, CO Electric Avenue Music and Arts Festival
Mon., Sept. 6 BOULDER, CO Boulder Hometown Fair
Wed., Sept. 8 DES MOINES, IA People’s Bar
Thurs., Sept. 9 CHICAGO, IL Martyr’s
Fri., Sept. 10 HARRODSBURG, KY Terrapin Hill Harvest Festival
Sat., Sept. 11 ELDRIDGE, MO Green Mountain Eco Fest – Main Stage
Thurs., Sept. 16 RALEIGH, NC Berkeley Café
Fri., Sept. 17 BRISTOL, TN Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion