Tauk is: Matt Jalbert (Guitar), Charlie Dolan (Bass), A.C. Carter (Keyboards/Organ) and Isaac Teel (Drums). They are from Long Island, New York and their music is a refreshing form of rock, jazz, funk fusion. They have toured with OAR, 311, moe., Robert Randolph, The Family Band and Toubab Krewe. They have also performed at Bonnaroo, Hangout Music Fest, the Summer Camp Music Festival and most recently Floyd Fest. These musicians have been playing together for over ten years and the experience shows.
I had the opportunity to see Tauk play at The Bungalow in Chantilly, Virginia. I was out of town when they played Floyd Fest and in Richmond, Virginia and wanted to see them play on this tour while promoting their new album, Homunculus. I really liked their first album Pull Factor a lot and wanted to hear them live to see if they can jam in person as well as on the album. Pull Factor was engineered by Dave Natale (Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac) and produced by Robert Carranza (Jack Johnson, Mars Volta). Well, jam they did, and they were absolutely as good or even better LIVE. If you are looking for a great instrumental rock fusion band this is it!
Tauk’s instrumental fusion is reminiscent of 1970's and 1980's bands like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Passport, Grateful Dead with maybe a little Pink Floyd thrown in. Yeah, it is kind of hard to explain, but it works. Their music is bold and melodic full of great guitar rifts, nice bass runs and KEYS that will knock your socks off. You don’t see many bands lugging around a huge Hammond Organ these days and the sound is unmistakable and perfect for this band!
Their new album, Homonculus, picks up right where Pull Factor left off. It is an addictive album. You cannot listen to it once because you want to hear everything going on and each time you listen to it you hear something new and refreshing. The album has amazing energy with almost a spiritual power flowing through it. It will take you on a journey that will meld the musical genres into a euphonious wonderland. Just close your eyes, have a listen and be blown away.
I had the opportunity to ask Charlie Dolan (Bass) a few questions about the band.
How did you meet?
Charlie: Matt, AC and I have been playing music together since about 7th grade. A group of kids would always go down to band room at lunch and mess around with the instruments together. Eventually three of us and some other friends put a group together for the middle school talent show…we won!
Isaac joined the band two years ago after our old drummer left and went to Med. school. We had been friends for a few years before that through some mutual college friends. We've been kicking it together after that.
What made you choose this style of music?
Charlie: It sort of just happened. At one point we were looking for a singer for the band and we realized that it might take a while to do that. We still had to play with each other and keep writing music so we regularly met for band practice. When we would run a song we would have either Matt or AC cover the melody. Some of the songs we came up with started to carry themselves well as instrumentals. We really enjoyed freedom of being purely instrumental so we ran with it!
How did you come to work with Robert Carranza and Dave Natale?
Charlie: When I was in college I interned at Radio City Music Hall in the sound department. Dave works there regularly and we started talking about the band and he dug what we were doing. He came out to some of our shows and did sound for us as a favor, and eventually offered to have us at his studio PA. That resulted in our first EP Pull Factors.
Robert has been a good friend for some time now. Way back when we had a singer we were looking for someone to produce our album, we had our managers at the time reach out to a bunch of producers and Robert was one of the first to respond and we immediately clicked with him. He has now become the band mentor in a way, like the hidden fifth member in the shadows.
How does your new album’s name, Homunculus, pertain to the music on the album?
Charlie: The word Homunculus has a lot of meanings and history behind it, but I think the best way to describe it as it pertains to the band would be any representation of the human consciousness. The album is the bands Homunculus.
How was Floyd Fest?
Charlie: I would say our first set at Floyd Fest was one of my top 5 band moments of all time. The energy from the crowd was so uplifting it was crazy, and I thought we played a really great set. It was one of those moments where you realize how lucky you are to be playing music and motivates you to keep on going for it. It was like drugs… but better.
If you could tour with any band, who would it be?
Charlie: I would say Phish for sure. They are band that has influenced us musically but also have a business model that we take a lot from. Their fan base is very dedicated and they really love music. I think a lot of Phish fans would dig our music and we hope to build something similar to what they have going.
What do you do in your free time?
Charlie: We have a long standing rivalry in Mario Kart: Double Dash for Gamecube, dating all the way back to the genesis of the band. We all also love to play basketball, which we often do when we procrastinate in band practice.
These guys are truly fine musicians. Have a listen!