Review of “The Great American Taxi”
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Another Night of Debauchery
Last night The Great American Taxi played in Mesa. It was at the Goat Head Saloon, a funky little venue. Great room, great service, but they had a gumba bouncer who looked like he wanted to beat the customers. I find that offensive when the guard at the door is the creepiest thing in the bar, but he didn’t hurt anyone while I was there. The door was 8.00 bucks per person and Guinness was only $4.50 a plastic pint so we had a reasonably affordable experience. The band was great. I had not seen the lead singer Vince Herman since Halloween in Boulder in I think 94, or maybe Telluride Blue Grass Fest of that year. At that time Left Over Salmon was waxing into their zenith. So it has been a while since I saw Vince. I’ve gained 25 pounds since those days and raised three teenagers, so the girl that danced to Left Over Salmon all night in Boulder is still here, just covered in the years. Life has added some depth and texture to Vince’s too, but the inner child still twinkles out. It was fun to go see what this guy is doing now.
Vince is very much the same talented, smart, charming and ready for it to be 4:20. The band was awesome. Jim Lewin on guitars and vocals was a perfect match in texture and velocity of his playing to Vince’s eclectic playing and picking style. Lewin’s playing brings a Southern soul connection flavor with his slide moves of twangy bending of notes. It is an interesting full flow of melodic harmonizing trade offs between the two guitarist and the piano player. All these musicians are masters and CAN TEAR IT UP. I was really blown away by the piano player and vocalist Chad Staehly. It sounds like I’m gushing but he was like a sort of prodigy when they let him cut loose. It looked like he was reining himself in on some songs but when he got a lick in he was better than Lowell George. I do not hand out that kind of compliment to most piano players. He was that good. The Drummer Chris Sheldon and bass player Edwin Hurwits were amazing too, tight, making it all look easy.
The band started 45 minutes late and that cut into my show time experience as I only had a babysitter, on a Monday night, till 11:00pm. My husband, the government worker, loved the music, hated that the band was late. He’s always right. People do have to work and musicians need to be aware that a night out to see them cost more than money, it cost our time and planning and when your late your dissing your fans that came to see you. Not everyone in the audience can stay till last call, some people have to go to work in the morning. The fans honored the band by coming to see them, the band should honor the audience back by starting on time. We did get to see a set before we had to go home. That sounds like middle class whining, but we are what we are, middle classed and whining.
The music was so good just wish it had been a longer night for the working class.