Taxi Chain

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AllMusic Review by

You could call Taxi Chain the quintessential bar band. There's no doubt that their music -- which skips freely from soul to Celtic, R&B to a kind of jazzy funk with a touch of swing along the way -- would go down well in a club. It's translating that to a studio record that's the problem. It's typified by the opening cut, "Memphis." The song itself is fine, a pastiche of Memphis soul. But in the studio, at least, the rhythm section drags, which stops the whole thing from working (and the use of a chorus effect on the guitar is annoying, too). "Cut Me a Key" suffers from a similar problem, while the title track, a Celtic pastiche, is pleasant, but never outstanding. Maybe it comes with the territory, being Jacks of all musical trades, but they master none. Having the Highland pipes is fine and makes them stand out, but Grier Coppins isn't a master piper, by any means. "Zimbobby" is probably meant as a tribute to Dylan, but its reach for jazz and the jam falls short. In short, there's nothing wrong with the album -- it's perfectly listenable -- but at the same time, everything is wrong. It might have been best to have captured the band live, where the energy was flowing with a crowd, and they were looser, because the stiffness on this is so palpable that you can feel the tension. A good massage and a live outing next time, maybe?

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