Moon Taxi

Moon Taxi is an American indie-alternative 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]

Moon Taxi
Moon Taxi performing at Bonnaroo Music Festival in 2018
Background information
OriginVestavia Hills, Alabama, United States
Years active2006–present
Associated acts
MembersTrevor Terndrup
Spencer Thomson
Tommy Putnam
Wes Bailey
Tyler Ritter

The band has released five studio albums: Melodica, Cabaret, Mountains Beaches Cities, Daybreaker, and Let the Record Play.[2] Moon Taxi signed to RCA Records in 2017.[3][4]

Moon Taxi has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, Conan, Late Night with Seth Myers, and most recently Jimmy Kimmel Live.[5][6][7]

The band has been included on the Coachella, Hangout, Forecastle, Beale Street, Summerfest and Firefly music festival bills,[8] using festivals to grow the band's fan base.


Early days and formation of current line-up

Trevor Terndrup and Tommy Putnam attended high school together in Vestavia Hills, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, 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, Tennessee where they met fellow student and guitarist Spencer Thomson, and drummer David Swan, shortly after their arrival at Belmont University.[9] Together with Thomson, a native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Swan of Atlanta, Georgia, the quartet jammed in freshman dorm rooms, quickly landing a gig as the backing band for a 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.[10]

After Swan graduated from Belmont in 2006, he left the band to pursue another career path. 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, Tennessee, sat 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.[11]

Melodica and 12th South Records

Moon Taxi's debut studio effort, Melodica, was recorded in Nashville at Triple House Productions.[12] The album's material is primarily categorized as jam rock[13] and contains the tracks "Gimme a Light" and "Here to Stay". Terndrup, Putnam, Thomson, and Ritter formed 12th South Records, an independent label housed in their 12th Avenue South home.[12]

Live Ride

In August 2008, the band recorded a live album, Live Ride, from a performance at 12th and Porter in Nashville.[14] The night featured two sets with nearly 30 songs, both new material and Melodica's.

The release of Live Ride was a precursor to more festival appearances, such as The Hangout Music and Arts Festival (Gulf Shores, Alabama) in 2010 and 2011,[15] Wakarusa in Ozark, Arkansas in 2011,[16] as well as a nationwide tour in 2010 that took the band from Maine to California.[17] The group won the inaugural Music City Mayhem Contest for "Common Ground",[14] which awarded them several songs in brief rotation on Nashville's WRLT Lightning 100.1 FM. Their Hangout Fest performance in 2010 gained them a Best New Jam nod through JamBase.[18]

During their touring schedule in support of Live Ride, Moon Taxi opened for Gov't Mule,[19] Umphrey's McGee,[20] Matisyahu,[19] and The New Mastersounds.[21]


In 2010, Moon Taxi began writing new material for their second studio LP, Cabaret. The album was recorded at Alex The Great Studios in South Nashville and at See Six Studios, Thomson's home studio.[22] The album was produced primarily by Thomson with the help of Hank Sullivant, a musician/producer from Athens, Georgia, 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, Tennessee and mastered by Richard Dodd. The track "Square Circles" features a guest appearance by hip-hop artist Matisyahu.[23]

On April 10, 2013, a live performance by Moon Taxi aired on NPR's World Cafe.[24]

Mountains Beaches Cities

On September 10, 2013, Moon Taxi released its third studio recording, Mountains Beaches Cities, on the band's label, 12th South Records via BMG. The album features 10 unreleased tracks produced by guitarist Spencer Thomson.[25] Mountains Beaches Cities was recorded in Nashville, TN at SonyTree Studios and See Six Studios.[26]

"For their third album, Mountains Beaches Cities, indie rock quintet Moon Taxi explored new landscapes by amping up the speed and turning up the volume," wrote USA Today.[27]


On October 2, 2015, Moon Taxi released its fourth studio album, Daybreaker, on the band's label, 12th South Records via BMG. It was produced by Jacquire King, whose credits include albums by James Bay and Kings of Leon.[28]

Rolling Stone noted: "Over the last few years, Nashville's Moon Taxi have worked their way up from Bonnaroo buzz-band to something approaching Kings of Leon country, playing a pleasingly cross-bred rock."[29] All Day All Night was featured in a McDonald's commercial promoting their new 24-hour breakfast menu.[30]

Let The Record Play

On May 5, 2017, Moon Taxi released the single Two High, which lyrically is "a song about hope," Terndrup told Relix Magazine. "Hope for understanding, hope for acceptance, and hope for our future. We were inspired by the simple and universal peace sign."[31] In September 2017, the band signed with RCA to release their upcoming album.[4] Terndrup also credited the 2017 Women's March as an inspiration for Two High.[32] The song was featured in the 2018 Jeep Compass commercial "Snow." [33] Two High hit number three on the Adult Alternative Songs chart and number one in Triple A airplay.[34][35]

On November 17, 2017, the band and RCA Records announced a fifth LP to be released on January 19, 2018, Let the Record Play, and also released a single of the same name.[34] The album would be mixed and produced by guitarist Thompson and feature ten tracks.[36] Although the band had been signed to RCA, the album was finished before the signing.[37] On December 20, Moon Taxi announced a "Let The Record Play" tour, playing around the U. S. in February 2018.[38] A separate "Good as Gold" tour happened in fall 2018.[39]


On April 18, 2019, Taxi was announced as the opening act for Day One of the 2019 NFL Draft, located in Nashville.[40] A day later, the band released two singles, "Now's the Time" and "This World".[41]



  1. "Cargo Live at Peak Hotel Moon Taxi" ( May 23, 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  2. Smith, Presley (January 22, 2016). "Nashville-based Moon Taxi returns to Knoxville". UT Daily Beacon. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  3. "Moon Taxi Signs to RCA Records - Music Connection Magazine". Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  4. Nicholson, Jessica (September 11, 2017). "Moon Taxi Inks Deal With RCA Records". Music Row Magazine. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  5. "Moon Taxi Performance: "Year Zero"". NBC. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
  6. "Moon Taxi "The New Black" 01/15/14". CONAN. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-21.
  7. "Moon Taxi on Jimmy Kimmel Live – "Two High"". full in bloom. 2018-03-13. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
  8. Weatherby, Taylor (May 31, 2017). "Moon Taxi's Trevor Terndrup Talks Dylan Fest, New Music & His 'Out of Body Experience' at Bonnaroo". Billboard. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  9. Laurence, Haley (December 7, 2015). "Moon Taxi has come a long way since Vestavia talent show". Birmingham Magazine 1. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  10. Wake, Matt (August 21, 2015). "Moon Taxi talks Birmingham origins, new album, upcoming Huntsville show at Three Caves". Birmingham Magazine 2. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  11. Bledsoe, Wayne (January 21, 2016). "Music: Moon Taxi: Nashville band paid its dues at Knoxville venues". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  12. Pierce, Erin (May 31, 2017). "Moon Taxi a Part of Stellar Sunday Lineup at Bunbury". Cincy Music. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  13. "Next: Moon Taxi". October 8, 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  14. "Moon Taxi Performs Young Journey On Ferris Wheel At Hangout Music Fest". Lightning 100.
  15. "Moon Taxi: Hangout Festival - Saturday". Creative Loafing Tampa. 26 May 2010. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  16. "Wakarusa 2011 Initial Lineup". Breakfast On Tour. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  17. "Moon Taxi: Summer Tour". JamBase. 10 June 2010. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  18. "Hangout Festival 05.14-05.16". Alabama: JamBase. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  19. "Moon Taxi's 'Morocco': Watch the Nashville buzz band's new video here". Entertainment Weekly. April 23, 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  20. "Umphrey's McGee and Moon Taxi Kick Off Masters Week In Augusta (A Gallery)". Relix. April 8, 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  21. "New Mastersounds: Tour w/ Logic". JamBase. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  22. "Moon Taxi Cabaret". Allmusic. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  23. Borders, Lindsey (June 12, 2014). "Moon Taxi builds fan base with extensive touring and festival appearances". Axs. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  24. Dye, David. "Moon Taxi On World Cafe".
  25. Lopez, Karina (July 29, 2014). "Indie rockers Moon Taxi land at StudioA". USA Today 2. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  26. "KNPB Presents Cargo Live at Whitney Peak Hotel -- Moon Taxi". Cargo. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  27. Lopez, Korina (September 3, 2013). "Moon Taxi sends 'Mountains Beaches Cities' into orbit". USA Today. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  28. Varias, Christ (November 24, 2015). "Moon Taxi's 'live' sound showing results". Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  29. Dolan, Jon (October 23, 2015). "Moon Taxi: Daybreaker". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  30. Bernstein, Scott. "Moon Taxi Shares 'All Day All Night' Video". JamBase. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  31. "Song Premiere: Moon Taxi "Two High"". Relix 2. May 5, 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  32. Nicholson, Jessica. "Exclusive: Nashville Band Moon Taxi Talks First RCA Album, 'Let The Record Play'". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  33. YouTube
  34. "Moon Taxi To Release New LP Out January 19th Via RCA Records; Title Track Out Today!". RCA Records. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  35. "Moon Taxi Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  36. Kahn, Andy. "Moon Taxi Announces New Album 'Let The Record Play' & Shares Title Track". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  37. Bilderback, Chyenne. "Let the Record Play: A Q&A with Trevor Terndrup of Moon Taxi". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  38. Shackleford, Tom. "Moon Taxi announce 2018 Let the Record Play tour". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  39. Holthouse, Jerry. "Moon Taxi Planning 10th New Year's Eve Performance in Nashville". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  40. Wyatt, Jim. "Moon Taxi, Lindsay Ell, Ryan Hurd, Mez - and the TSU Band - Added to NFL Draft Lineup in Nashville". Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  41. "Listen to two new Moon Taxi songs, "Now's the Time" and "This World"". Retrieved 20 April 2019.
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