Great American Taxi 4.5.13

Ghost Ranch Saloon
Steamboat Springs, CO

Words By J-man
Photos By J-man & Carly Marthis

With all of the work that we've been outputting in the city, we thought it best to head to the mountains for a weekend of rest and relaxation. We hopped into the Jeep and headed up just a few hours away to Steamboat Springs. Our time there would be spent hiking and visiting Strawberry Park Hot Springs as opposed to seeing music as we always do. While having lunch, we checked the local night activity in the town and noticed that Great American Taxi was playing over at Ghost Ranch. "We don't have to go," I said to Carly, "but I would like to poke my head into the venue just to check it out." Following lunch we headed across the street to Ghost Ranch and the friendly staff invited us in to check it out. The open room was crafted from beautiful wood, with columns that supported an upper floor/balcony. Throughout the room were a wide array of taxidermy that added to the rustic saloon vibe that Ghost Ranch does so well. The large bar area featured well-crafted arches filled with liquor and across the room from the bar was the elevated stage. As we left the venue, I had a feeling that we would be returning that evening for some Taxi.

"Hello, my name is J and I am an addict." With little to no convincing, we did indeed return to Ghost Ranch that evening and found a spot at the bar where a kind bartender filled us in on some info about the venue and the music scene in Steamboat. She informed us that it was usually pretty happening but since it was the beginning of "mud season," business had begun to dry up and Ghost Ranch would be closing for a short time. We asked for some food recommendations and ended up with a burger and Buena Vista goat cheese. Both were fantastic and eluded to Ghost Ranch's abilities as both a venue and restaurant. The man of the hour, Vince Herman, wandered around greeting folks while catching shots at the end of the bar as bearded mountain men and skiers came through the door for some Americana/folk. Outside of the bar a young group of talented musicians picked and sang as they waited for the show to start.

With Ghost Ranch filling in, Great American Taxi took the stage and began. The venue's sound was great and the energy palatable as mountain wookies got down. Taxi has never really impressed me with their loose sort of party music, but that night they sounded a little tighter and a little bit more focused than some of the previous shows I had seen. Regardless of what I thought, there was a room full of people who had a blast. Vince and guitarist, Jim Lewin, went back and forth with rockabilly sounding trade offs, as keyboardist Chad Staehly filled in the gaps with tasty licks that at times took the focus. The rhythm section of Brian Adams on bass and Chris Sheldon on drums didn't really blow minds, but seemed to hold its own and fit the compositions well. Drinks continued to flow, the music went on and the evening turned to early morning. Our time at Ghost Ranch, though unplanned was the perfect addition to our mountain "escape!"

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