Taxi gets the green light | SteamboatToday.com

Taxi gets the green light

Erin Gleason

The meter is running on this taxi.

“It’s what we’re about,” Great American Taxi keyboard player and vocalist Chad Staehly said Monday. “We love traveling and touring and getting our music out there.”

Great American Taxi was formed when Staehly brought together Boulder-area musicians for an environmental awareness concert in spring 2005.

“We sounded great and had a blast,” Staehly said of the benefit concert. “So we thought, ‘Why not take this on the road?'”

Two years later, Great American Taxi has played more than 120 shows, and the band has a full schedule through November. The band will tour nationally in the Midwest and Southeast.

“Everyone’s got input,” Staehly said, adding that four of the five band members sing and write lyrics. “As cliche as it sounds, we’re really a democracy.”

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In addition to Staehly and guitarist and former Leftover Salmon frontman Vince Herman, the band includes guitarist Jefferson Hamer, drummer Jake Coffin and Edwin Hurwitz, who joined Great American Taxi last May.

“Edwin filled the spot and fits in perfectly,” Staehly said. “He brings new energy and a lot of experience that’s really made a difference in our live shows so far.”

After a positive response from their first album, “Streets of Gold,” released in May 2007, Great American Taxi plans to release its sophomore album within the next year.

In between touring, Staehly and the guys spend time writing and recording.

“We’re going to try to keep the taxi rolling,” Staehly said. In the works for next summer is a possible riverboat tour in which the band will float downstream and dock to play different towns along the way.

Staehly and the band play Steamboat regularly, participating in the Rock the Boat series at the base of the gondola last ski season and performing at Mahogany Ridge.

“Steamboat really is our favorite ski town to play,” Staehly said. “Part of it is that there’s still a group of ski bums and hippies in tact that’s missing from other ski places. That’s a beautiful thing.”