Moon Taxi

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Moon Taxi
Moon Taxi 8-17-12 (567).jpg
Background information
Origin Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Genres Indie rock, progressive rock, jam rock
Years active 2006–present
Labels 12th South Records (2007–present)
Associated acts Matisyahu
Tedeschi Trucks Band
The Dirty Heads
Members Trevor Terndrup
Spencer Thomson
Tommy Putnam
Wes Bailey
Tyler Ritter

Moon Taxi is an American indie-progressive rock band based in Nashville, Tennessee. The band was founded in 2006 by Trevor Terndrup (vocals, guitar), Tommy Putnam (bass), Spencer Thomson (guitar, programming), Tyler Ritter (drums), and Wes Bailey (keys) while attending Belmont University.[1]

On October 2, 2015, Moon Taxi released its fourth studio effort, Daybreaker, on the band's label, 12th South Records via BMG. The album features 11 unreleased tracks recorded at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, and was produced by Grammy-winner, Jacquire King.

Moon Taxi appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, Conan (talk show), and most recently Late Night with Seth Myers [2][3]

The band is included on the Coachella, Hangout, Forecastle, Beale Street Music Festival Lockn' festival and Firefly music festivals in 2016. [4]


Early Days and Formation of Current Line Up[edit]

Trevor Terndrup and Tommy Putnam attended high school together in Vestavia Hills, a suburb of Birmingham, AL, and played in a bluesy rock group known as Apex during their junior and senior years. Upon graduation in 2002, the two moved to Nashville, TN where they met fellow student and guitarist Spencer Thomson, and drummer David Swan, shortly following their arrival at Belmont. Together with Thomson, a native of Bowling Green, KY, and Swan (of Atlanta, GA) the Quartet began jamming in freshman dorm rooms, quickly landing a gig as the backing band for local rap duo. In the school years following, the group performed sparsely around Nashville and in college towns around the Southeast under the name Moon Taxi.

After Swan graduated from Belmont in 2006, he left the band to pursue another career path. Soon after, Moon Taxi commissioned drummer Tyler Ritter, also of Vestavia Hills, in fall 2006, and the quartet began writing and recording songs for a debut studio release. Keyboardist Wes Bailey, a native of Knoxville, TN, began sitting in with the band during local shows around the same time, and when Melodica was released in April 2007, Bailey was added as a permanent member, thus completing the current line-up.[5]

Melodica and 12th South Records[edit]

Moon Taxi’s debut studio effort was recorded in Nashville, TN at Triple House Productions. The album's material is primarily categorized as “jam rock” and contains the signature tracks “Gimme a Light” and “Here to Stay.” At this time, Terndrup, Putnam, Thomson, and Ritter formed 12th South Records, an independent label housed in their 12th Avenue South home.

After the release of Melodica, Moon Taxi toured the southeast supporting the record. The band gathered momentum, leveraging the album and their energetic live show to garner cult acclaim. During this time period, the band won bids for key local spots at the 2008 Summer Camp Music Festival in Illinois, Birmingham's City Stages Festival, and the 10,000 Lakes Festival in Minnesota.[6]

Live Ride[edit]

In August 2008, the band recorded a live album at 12th and Porter in Nashville. The night boasted two sets with nearly 30 songs, both new material and favorites from Melodica. At the end of the night, Thomson was hospitalized with an injury to his left hand, rendering him unable to perform for the remainder of 2008. Moon Taxi took the stage in February 2009 for a hometown show at the legendary Exit/In with a newly recovered guitar player. The Live Ride release show was the first show the reunited quintet would play and was their first ever Nashville sellout.[7]

JamBase called Live Ride “a prime intro to this vibrant group who incorporates roots-rhythms, Latin-ismo, Phishy riffs, complex fusion and gutbucket, blue collar rock into a pretty enjoyable ball they hurl with serious gusto.”[8]

The release of Live Ride was a precursor to more festival appearances, such as The Hangout Music and Arts Festival (Gulf Shores, AL) in 2010 and 2011,[9] Wakarusa in Ozark, AR in 2011,[10] as well as a nationwide tour in 2010 that took the band from Maine to California.[11] The group won the inaugural Music City Mayhem Contest for the track, "Common Ground,"[12] which awarded them several songs in brief rotation on Nashville’s WRLT Lightning 100.1 FM, and their Hangout Fest performance in 2010 gained them a "Best New Jam" nod through JamBase.[13]

During their relentless touring schedule in support of Live Ride, Moon Taxi played opening slots for the likes of Gov’t Mule, Umphrey's McGee, Matisyahu, and The New Mastersounds.[14]


In 2010, Moon Taxi began writing new material for their highly anticipated sophomore studio LP, Cabaret. The album was recorded at Alex The Great Studios in South Nashville and at See Six Studios, Thomson’s home studio. The album was produced primarily by Thomson with the help of Hank Sullivant, a musician/producer from Athens, GA, who also sang guest harmony vocals on “Let's Go Back.” Cabaret was mixed by Grammy Award winner Vance Powell (The Raconteurs) at Sputnik Sound in Berry Hill, and mastered by Richard Dodd. The track “Square Circles” features a guest appearance by hip-hop artist Matisyahu.[15]

The music and themes of Cabaret are a departure for the band, with more electronic influence (a la Radiohead), as well as tinges of folk and hip-hop. An album preview from JamBase states that “Cabaret illustrates the challenges of defining yourself in a world that seems to be suffering from its own identity loss.”[16]

The record was released on February 7, 2012 on 12th South Records and received a 4.5 out of 5 star rating from Glide Magazine. Videos for the album are currently being released, one of which, “Gunflower,” debuted as AOL Music’s Video of the Day.[17]

From Red Bull’s Rock Report: “We set out to make a cohesive studio record,” lead singer Trevor Terndrup explains. “In the past Moon Taxi have been known for their live performances not their recorded music. We took quite a while with each of the songs and really thought about how they would turn out in a studio setting. If nothing else we proved to ourselves that this band is not one sided. We called the record Cabaret because we are performers, the world is the stage, and the album is the show.”[18]

From Glide Magazine: “Moon Taxi is a band that can really craft a song, understands arrangements and composition, and maintains artistic integrity. It's not much of a stretch to think these guys could blow up and enjoy popular and critical success in 2012.”[19]

The band toured promoting Cabaret throughout 2012 with opening slots for Perpetual Groove and Galactic, as well as a co-headlining tour with Nashville group, The Apache Relay.[20]

During the summer of 2012, Moon Taxi made a Thursday night appearance at the Bonnaroo Music Festival alongside the Alabama Shakes, White Denim, and The Dirty Guv'nahs. [21]

Mountains Beaches Cities[edit]

On September 10, 2013, Moon Taxi released its third studio effort, Mountains Beaches Cities, on the band's label, 12th South Records via BMG. The album features 10 unreleased tracks produced by guitarist Spencer Thomson. Mountains Beaches Cities was recorded in Nashville, TN at SonyTree Studios and See Six Studios.


On October 2, 2015, Moon Taxi released its fourth studio affair, "Daybreaker," on the band's label, 12th South Records via BMG.[22]


  • Melodica (2007)
  • Live Ride (2008)
  • Cabaret (2012)
  • Mountains Beaches Cities (2013)
  • Daybreaker (2015)


  1. ^ "Moon Taxi Biography". Moon Taxi. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-02. 
  2. ^ "Moon Taxi Performance: "Year Zero"". NBC. Retrieved 2016-03-15. 
  3. ^ "Moon Taxi "The New Black" 01/15/14". CONAN. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-21. 
  4. ^ "Tour". Moon Taxi | Official Site. Retrieved 2016-03-15. 
  5. ^ "Onward and Upward and to the Moon". American Music Channel. 13 August 2009. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  6. ^ "Onward and Upward and to the Moon". American Music Channel. 13 August 2009. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  7. ^ "Moon Taxi - Live Ride Interview (Extended Version)". Moon Taxi Music on YouTube. 29 March 2009. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  8. ^ "Moon Taxi: Live Ride". JamBase. 16 April 2009. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  9. ^ "Moon Taxi: Hangout Festival - Saturday". Creative Loafing Tampa. 26 May 2010. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  10. ^ "Wakarusa 2011 Initial Lineup". Breakfast On Tour. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  11. ^ "Moon Taxi: Summer Tour". JamBase. 10 June 2010. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  12. ^ "The Lightning 100 staff announces the Music City Mayhem champion!". WRLTLightning100 on YouTube. 13 April 2009. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  13. ^ "Hangout Festival 05.14-05.16". Alabama: JamBase. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  14. ^ "New Mastersounds: Tour w/ Logic". JamBase. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  15. ^ "Moon Taxi Biography". Moon Taxi. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  16. ^ "Moon Taxi: New Album, Tour". JamBase. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  17. ^ "Moon Taxi, 'Gunflower' -- Video of the Day". AOL Music. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  18. ^ "Rock Music News from Wilco, Candy Hearts, Death Cab for Cutie, and More". Red Bull Rock Report. 20 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  19. ^ "Moon Taxi: Cabaret". Glide Magazine. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  20. ^ "Moon Taxi: New Album, Tour". JamBase. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Home". Moon Taxi | Official Site. Retrieved 2016-03-15. 

External links[edit]