Down to earth lyrics, terbacky chawin' North 40 humor, heartland grit, and some fine fine playing sliding between 'tighter 'n a drum' and 'gloriously loose' marks Great American Taxi's second release, Reckless Habits. The disc issues from a group already well known for its collision of root styles 'n good ol' fashioned rock & roll with boozy inflections not unlike Elvin Bishop's wilder moments. Ribald but deadly serious in the instrumental department, more than one tally point is made in this not often ventured style.
A killer banjo solo and jam trade-offs center themselves in Unpromised Land a la Charlie Daniels, Kaleidoscope, Elvin, and the Dead. In fact, once these guys go past the 4-minute mark, you can't hold 'em back, and the pickin' fest commences without delay. Grab yet hat and hold onto your seat, as Great American Taxi is one of the hottest jam bands on the festival circuit, gaining repute among fellow music-makers and appreciative audiences. Hot driving honky-tonkin' is their forte, not all that far from Waylon's style but with themes far more resident in modern taxonomies. Think Kingfish, the New Riders, that ilk.
Cold Lonely Town gets into a depressed Sea Level / Al Kooper groove with some truly righteous female backing vocals (and these ladies, the Black Swan Singers, thank Jesus, appear more than once throughout the CD) while the guitarists (Jeff Hamer, Jim Lewin) bring a Faces / Stones atmosphere into every so many cuts, dripping sour mash and a bit of Mary J. Wanna while grabbing ears and putting fire in bellies. No, this isn't a new J. Geils Band, Great American Taxi is much better than that, but what they do is quite specialized and has to be heard to be fully appreciated.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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