Songs and Stories #114: The Great American Taxi

Click to hear episode #114 (time = 46:37, size = 64.1 mb)

Sometimes spontaneous works best. I’ve been chatting Santa Cruz’ Jim Lewin of The Great American Taxi for months about trying to get together for an interview. Recently he called and said, “hey, we’re going to play on KPIG. Want to meet us there in ten minutes?” And it was that simple. I headed down to the station and did an interview (in two parts) with band members Chad Staehly, Brian Adams, Vince Herman, and Jim Lewin.

Local listeners know Jim Lewin as part of the bluegrass outfit Harmony Grits, as well as his sidework with songwriters like Lacy J. Dalton. A few years back, he hooked up with Vince Herman, late of Leftover Salmon, and became a full-time member of The Great American Taxi.

Vince Herman, Brian Adams, and Jim Lewin of Great American Taxi

The band straddles between the jam-band and Americana genres: They’re all great players but are each also fine songwriters in their own right. Their latest record, “Paradise Lost” is a different sort of effort. Produced by Todd Snider – whom they now regularly perform with – the CD is a collection of songs that most of their fans haven’t heard. Being part of the jam-band scene, recording and trading of live shows is encouraged. With “Paradise Lost”, they decided to record new songs that hadn’t been played out before. This episode includes clips of “Poor House” and “Olden Days” from the new CD.

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