TAUK soup: Oyster Bay band stirs it up at High Sierra

Kurt Johnson / Tahoe Onstage

Matt Jalbert, left, Charlie Dolan and their band TAUK debut at High Sierra Music Festival this summer.
Kurt Johnson / Tahoe Onstage

The irony about TAUK is that the band doesn’t use vocals. OK, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to dance.

There is sure to be plenty of talk about the band from Oyster Bay, New York, when it makes its debut this year at the High Sierra Music Festival. The music has been called cerebral rock, psychedelia, instrumental fusion and meth rock that swings.

“It’s pretty much always rock and roll but we fuse whatever else we can in there,” said Charlie Dolan, the quartet’s amalgamative bass player. “Anyone can take the lead. A lot of what we do is melodically based. The biggest part for me is bridging between the rhythmic and melodic parts.”

Dolan, keyboardist Alric “A.C.” Carter and guitarist Matt Jalbert have been buddies since middle school, when they took fun excursions out to Montauk, Rhode Island, which inspired the name TAUK. (Fans of the band are called Staukers.)

The future rauk stars listened to a wide range of music: The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Phish, Frank Zappa, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Beck, Aphex Twin and Squarepusher.

Drummer Isaac Teel joined four years ago.

Kurt Johnson

Isaac Teel stirs TAUK’s musical soup with his drumsticks.

“He was pretty much a hip-hop, R&B and gospel drummer,” Dolan said. We added his background into our sound as well. It’s a soup we keep adding to.”

The jam band crowd has an appetite for it. TAUK has toured with Umphrey’s McGee, including its first trip West last spring when the two bands played at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.

“I had never heard any of TAUK’s music and had no expectations,” said Tahoe Onstage photographer Kurt Johnson, who plays in an instrumental trio, Æther Haze. “I was completely blown away. The musicianship of this band is of the highest caliber. They are main-act quality.”

TAUK recently released a double-CD live album, “HEADROOM,” named for its imminent rise.

“Most of the songs were from our tour in 2015 with Umphrey’s,” Dolan said. “We had good crowds in some really good sounding rooms. We wanted to make it sound as big as possible. The first four or five tracks are from a show in Virginia. That show just clicked right off the bat from the first note, and that’s what starts out the record.”

Another standout song is a slowed-down version of the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy”), a pioneering jam song.

TAUK has two official appearances on Friday, July 1, at High Sierra. It plays at 1:45 a.m. in the Funk’n Jam House and at 6 p.m. at Big Meadow.

“We like playing the late shows because we get inspired watching everybody else,” Dolan said. “By the time you go on, you are itching to play. I’ve heard of High Sierra forever. I’ve heard a lot of really good things, so I am psyched to finally be on it.”

High Sierra recently announced the schedule for the Artist Playshops LINK

And the Troubadour Sessions LINK
Related story: Images of TAUK’s performance at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. LINK

Alric “A.C.” Carter plays keyboard and organ for TAUK.

Alric “A.C.” Carter plays keyboard and organ for TAUK.

About Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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