“In short, TAUK is unstoppable. If you haven’t see them, dear God, go,” says Live for Live Music. Hailing from Oyster Bay, NY, heavy instrumental rock-fusion onslaught TAUK has created a unique musical identity that is quickly separating them from the pack. Featuring Matt Jalbert (guitar), Charlie Dolan (bass), Alric “A.C.” Carter (keyboard-organ), and Isaac Teel (drums), the band seamlessly brings together a mélange of genres as diverse as gritty funk, fusion, hip hop, progressive rock, ambient, classic rock, and jazz.TAUK has an entrancing way of creating evocative instrumental soundscapes and wondrous tension-and-release jams. Their creations of “cerebral funk” inspire both enthralled headphone listening and sweaty, joyous dance floor exultations. The four different musical personalities of the bandmates conceptually collide to create an intoxicatingly potent musical brew. The recipe includes triumphantly soaring guitar melodies, devilishly creative drumming, lithe keyboard fills and bass lines so buoyant they seem to effortlessly bob and weave around song structures.
This distinct musical footprint coupled with tireless touring have built a dedicated and loyal fanbase for TAUK, and inspired the release of the band’s first live album HEADROOM, a jaw-dropping testament to the young group’s already masterful live show. Jalbert described the group’s decision to drop a live album at this early juncture in the band’s career: “We’ve created an identity and we want to capture these moments and share this stage of our evolution. It felt like the right time considering the amazing year we’ve been having.”
HEADROOM, mixed by five time Grammy winning producer/mixer/engineer Robert Carranza (The Mars Volta, Ozomatli, Jack Johnson and Taj Mahal) features 16 hard-hitting, technically inspired instrumental tracks including a jam-rendition of Nirvana’s classic “In Bloom” & a hard hitting version of “Battle Without Honor Or Humanity” written by Tomoyasu Hotei with special guests The Shady Horns. The two-disc compilation features hand selected performances recorded at The NorVa (Norfolk, VA), The National (Richmond, VA), The Madison Theater (Covington, KY), The Ritz (Raleigh, NC), Iron Works (Buffalo, NY), The Southern (Charlottesville, VA), AURA Music Festival (Live Oak, FL), and Terminal West (Atlanta, GA).
Both Carranza and TAUK share a varied musical palette, so it makes perfect sense that he has lent a hand to help develop HEADROOM. Carranza also produced TAUK’s previous album, Collisions, and over the course of the last few years the band and Carranza have developed a close creative relationship. The entire band speaks incredibly highly of the symbiotic relationship with Carranza, with Carter summing it up by saying, “He’s been a huge influence and feels like a part of the band… Robert takes the clearest picture of the band at that point in time and makes suggestions to accentuate our songwriting and arrangements, while letting the band focus on what we want to say musically.” The band has entered the studio with him again this winter to record their 3rd studio album and a new EP both due out in 2016.
In just a few short years, TAUK have already shared stages with an impressive list of bands. Their broadly appealing musicality has caught the ear of such diverse artists as Widespread Panic, Umphrey’sMcGee (kindred spirits whom TAUK look to for inspiration; much of HEADROOM comes from their recent tour together), STS9, The Funky Meters, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Papadosio, Lettuce, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, moe., Dopapod, Tim Reynolds & TR3, Toubab Krewe, The Revivalists and many more. Festival highlights include Electric Forest, Wakarusa, Bonnaroo, The Hangout Music Festival, Summer Camp, LOCKN’, Hudson Project, FloydFest, Hulaween, CounterPoint, Camp Bisco, Bear Creek, Art Outside and The Allman Brothers’ Peach Fest.
The quartet has received accolades from a number of tastemaking authorities, including an “On The Verge” feature in Relix Magazine and frequent rotation for their singles “Mindshift”, “Sweet Revenge” and “Battle Without Honor or Humanity” on Sirius XM Jam On. Jambase named TAUK “a guaranteed quickly-ascend band” and explained It’s common to hear a jam band say they “meld genres” when describing themselves, but few are able to craft such an instantly intoxicating brew from such seemingly disparate genres so adeptly.” While The Washington Post raves “TAUK’s instrumental music melds genres and styles, creating a hard-charging, often melodic fusion that – thanks to a penchant for improv – offers limitless possibilities.”
The group is reaching new heights with every live performance and album, but is nowhere close to peaking. It’s an exciting time for both TAUK and their fans, as a rocket ship of momentum ascends this young band to national prominence, while showing no signs of slowing down.