In another life, Vince Herman, along with his first band of brothers, Leftover Salmon, was often associated with music festivals. These days there are new words from Vince Herman and it’s with his newer band, Great American Taxi (Thirty Tiger Label). Shedding a “jam band” and creating a band with a unique sound, all while combining many musical roots isn’t easy. In Great American Taxi’s third studio effort, that’s exactly what they have accomplished. Paradise Lost has a genuine sound and serves as their most polished album to date.
On Paradise Lost, Great American Taxi combines blues, folk, and alt-country into an album that will put their footprint on Americana music. Adding to the polished sound are a few roots musicians including Elizabeth Cook, Barry Sless, Tim O’Brien, along with producer Todd Snider.
It’s clear that Great American Taxi has some things on their mind: current state of the economy, hardship, the good ol’ days, and impending doom of the CD format. On Paradise Lost they have figured out how to relay these stories in songs like "Poor House"- “The family farm has been done been sold, heard them hard times at my door”; "Olden Days" – “Children were laughing, I was playing guitar, you were planting flowers, it was a perfect day, for a few short hours”, and "Gonna Make A Record" – “Get a big time publicist, won’t even print a CD, put it up there on YouTube, give it away for free”. There are a few instances on Paradise Lost, such as in “Radiation Blues” and “Swamp Song”, which might have the listener wondering whether GAT is doing a folk record or adding their own stamp on Americana music. In the end, Paradise Lost is quite a collection of authentic Americana songs. There is an open road for Great American Taxi these days and it’s full of a music community hankering to come along for the ride.