Moon Taxi

Moon Taxi is one of those rare bands that unites musical ingenuity with thoughtful lyrics and still somehow manages to wildly entertain and thrill a crowd. Their new record, Cabaret, is a layered, multi-dimensional endeavor that displays the band's maturing sense of their own musical identity. A follow-up to their live album, Live Ride, Cabaret illustrates the challenges of defining yourself in a world that seems to be suffering from its own identity loss. Lead singer Trevor Terndrup says, "It's about juxtaposition—putting together seemingly opposite ideas and finding a strange harmony." Inspired by surrealist artwork and novelist Tom Robbins, Terndrup says, "I guess we are trying to say that things are not so black and white, or good or evil, but relative to your own perspective."

Evoking the musical revolution of the sixties and seventies, Moon Taxi ignites their eclectic sound with unique melodies and energetic shows. The band has already formed a loyal fan base across the Southeast, selling out clubs and creating a strong grassroots following. Keyboardist Wes Bailey says, "It's an incredible feeling to see people who we've never met before in a town we've never played before, dancing and singing our lyrics at the top of their lungs. That's what really gets us off."

The songs on Cabaret are stories in themselves, each contributing to the continuing narrative of ideals lost to youth and also newly discovered for the future—both of revelry and social-consciousness. On "Hideaway", an anti-war protest is heard in the background. The chant was recorded on the spur of the moment when Trevor and guitarist Spencer Thomson followed an anti-Middle Eastern occupation march during a trip to New York City. Spencer opened his laptop to capture the moment, and the use of the chant, he says, shows the band's hip-hop influences. Songs such as "Southern Trance", "Whiskey Sunset", and "Cabaret", perpetuate youthful visions of campfires, torn jeans, and a good roll in the hay with the cutest stranger at the party. Spencer says about the variety of their songs, "Moon Taxi is unique because we don't have preconceived notions about who we are supposed to be so there are no boundaries for what we are willing to do or try."

Inspired by artists who push the envelope, such as minimalist composer Phillip Glass, Director Quentin Tarintino, and bands like The Beatles and Radiohead, Moon Taxi's study of the greats is apparent on Cabaret. The record was recorded at Alex The Great in Nashville, where others such as Gomez, Yo La Tengo, and Be Your Own Pet have also sojourned. Cabaret was impressively guest-produced by Hank Sullivant (Whigs, MGMT, Kuroma), mixed by Grammy award winning sound engineer Vance Powell (Raconteurs), and features folk/hip-hop artist Matisyahu, who the band has also opened for, on the track "Square Circles".

The band has worked hard to develop their well-executed stage presence. Drummer Tyler Ritter says, "What's great about our touring resume is that we've been able to create an interactive dynamic between the five of us that doesn't take away from the songs, but ultimately adds to a more energetic and (dare I say) 'high octane' live show. We constantly keep our eyes and ears open onstage, so we can change direction if we need to. It's like a really intense conversation with your best friend at 2am, after several drinks, where every topic in the world is up for discussion, and you both have to be quick on your feet to follow each other's train of thought." Equally important as the practice of performing regularly, the guys have also shared life experiences that strengthen their sound and camaraderie. Tom Putnam (bassist) says, "Even experiences that weren't directly recorded, (like the rally in NYC, or the lobby hotel sounds in Mississippi), influence our writing, like riding in a Lamborghini at 150 miles an hour with a drug dealer in Memphis, or when we were en route to St. Louis and watched the sky turned dark brown with tornadic winds and hail. Everyone in the band thought for a second we would die, and if they tell you different, ask Tyler for the video. That stuff changes you and your art." It is the willingness to change and constantly evolve that will carry Moon Taxi through many records, and a long and successful career as a band.

The Grand Nationals

Newly formed in 2010, The Grand Nationals is the brainchild of long time musical comrades Adam Honeycutt (vocals, guitar, organ) and Ian Bennett (vocals, guitar, percussion). Both Honeycutt and Bennett had been working towards solo projects but eventually came to the realization they might have something special in collaborating together. With this, they brought in Sam Barnes (vocals, violin) and Jay Harris (bass) and it was official.
Honeycutt and Bennett discovered that their combined appreciation for singer-songwriters and ballads contributed a new dimension to the original concept for The Grand Nationals, which was an authentic old country band. With each of them writing both the music and the lyrics, inspired by the likes of Van Morrison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan (amongst many others), they resurrected the spirit of folk, country, and southern rock while still staying relevant to a burgeoning indie scene.
Philadelphia based promoters, R5 Productions, said their sound is Ryan Adams meets the Allman Brothers, but as Honeycutt has admitted, with Andy Keenan featured on the steel pedal and Barnes on violin, the sound definitely retains its country twang. Bennett adds,“Sam adds a lot on the record and at the live show to what the band can do musically...he's undeniably great at the doesn't hurt to have someone whose a monster at his craft playing right next to you.” – The “Local Band Spotlight”

The Cold Roses

Blending old-soul blues and country with a young rock energy, Philly’s Cold Roses borrowed their name from a Ryan Adams song, and their sound from country rockers like Neil Young, the Band and Kings of Leon. With a groove that sounds older than any of them could be, Cold Roses use deeply personal, whiskey soaked lyrics and "crank a hard-punching, slow-moving beat that embodies perseverance, blunted longing and a wary acknowledge ment of the worst-case scenario" (PW). Formed in late 2010, the four members of the Roses came from varied musical backgrounds and influences, but found a common bond in their shared love of Americana, blues, and rock and roll. Playing original songs that appeal to any generation, their energetic and eclectic live performances quickly showed their tight bond and soulfully different sound, and have made them a regular fixture in the Philadelphia area.


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