Words & Images by: James Martin
Great American Taxi :: 03.14.10 :: Red Fox Tavern :: Eureka, CA
Great American Taxi rolled into town, SUV and trailer jam-packed with band members and equipment, just minutes before the show. As they ambled onto the stage, the crowd cheering, Taxi didn't hesitate to get the show going with a lively version of "High On The Mountain," starting off with Vince Herman picking on the mandolin. This was followed by "For Twenty Long Years" and "Four Twenty Special," which got fans happily dancing.
Great American Taxi has become a frequent favorite in the Humboldt County music scene, their bluesy-bluegrass-rock fusion never ceasing to please. From the get-go Taxi kept the audience engaged, inviting fans to make requests. As titles poured in for covers from The Band, Taxi responded by playing what Vince called a "little The Band set." Taxi's takes on "Twilight," "Shape I'm In" and "Ophelia" were all impressive, embedding their own talent and style into each piece.
Early into the set, Taxi broke into a jammy, sultry cover of Jackson Brown's "Casino Nation." Don't be mistaken - Great American Taxi isn't just a cover band, though they do a remarkable job weaving their own creative twist into each one they select to play. Many of the highlights from this evening were their own original tunes, such as "Appalachian Soul," a heartfelt tribute to the Appalachian way of life and one of Taxi's most popular songs. "Reckless Habits," the title track off their recently released new album (JamBase review) was long and loose with solid solos from each band member. The first set ended with "Great Night to Boogie," which couldn't be more true; with Great American Taxi jamming out an upbeat set, who wouldn't be dancing?
After the set break though the crowd thinned, Great American Taxi came out stronger and with more energy, including a funky "Swamp Song" sung by bassist Brian Adams, a favorite amongst many fans. The energy remained vibrant with a well-executed medley of "Who Do You Love" into "Not Fade Away," finishing with a tune fit for the local scene, "Fuzzy Little Hippie Girl." This jam showcased the individual talents and chemistry the band shares.
There was no doubt Taxi would encore for the local, loyal crowd and ended on a positive, upbeat note with "Lumpy Beanpole and Dirt," a quirky, fun number that seemed like just the right way to end the night.
When you go to a Great American Taxi show you know you're going to do some dancing, and they did not disappoint, keeping energy levels high. Celebrating five years as a band, Taxi continues to get stronger as they work their way into the fabric of the jam band scene. We hope they return to Humboldt County soon.
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