Even though the band Taneytown is deeply rooted in the Netherlands, you wouldn’t guess their Dutch roots when you hear their songs. Singer Edwin Jongedijk sounds just as American as anybody from the states. It is his deep rich voice that makes their sound unique and easily recognisable.
The band itself is a tight group of friends that have known each other since childhood. They have been making music together for more than ten years now. All of them grew up in rural areas of the Netherlands and share a passion for country music, Southern Rock and Americana. Most of their songs are written and composed by singer Edwin Jongedijk and lead guitarist Joost Prinsen. The band is completed by Martin Wieringa (bass) and Niek Stok (drums).
Taneytown was named after the Steve Earle song ‘Taneytown’ that singer Edwin Jongedijk was listening to while looking for a name for his than brand-new band. Apparently ‘Taneytown’ sounded cool without being cheesy and was the only name all band members could agree on. The band name proved to be a good choice since it started a unique friendship between the band Taneytown and the city Taneytown in Maryland, USA. While browsing the internet, a resident of Taneytown, MD came across the band and was intrigued that they shared the same name and got in contact with the band. This lead to an interview with singer Edwin Jongedijk being published in the ‘Taneytown Record’ – the local newspaper, which in turn lead to their first tour through the US. Their US fanbase has steadily been growing through three US tours, just as their European fanbase has with Taneytown playing many gigs in the Netherlands and touring Germany extensively. It seems their sound suits both sides of the ocean well. Taneytown is also a regular crowd pleasers at the well-known German Country Music Meeting held annually in Berlin.
Taneytown has released three studio albums so far. Their eponymously titled first album ‘Taneytown’ was released in 2006. It was praised to be music that ‘calms your heart and nourishes your soul’. Many have brought up comparisons with Springsteen’s finest work when listening to Edwin Jongedijk’s intense yet sensitive vocals teamed with the band’s powerful instrumentation. The album features a wide variety of styles. There are tender acoustic ballads like ‘Albuquerque, New Mexico’, traditional country rock in ‘Blame it on Jack’ or jazzy sounds in ‘Here’s to you’. There really is something for everyone on this album if you like your music original and passionate.
The band followed up on this album with ‘East of Everything’ in 2008. This album covers the usual topics of bars, drinking, road trips and lost loves and yet manages to sound original and heartfelt. They added to their own musical expertise by calling in the help of Amanda Shires for some delicate violin and vocals – especially on the ballad ‘Moonlight Serenade’ – as well as David Henry on cello and Dave Hadley for exquisite steel guitar tracks on this album. ‘East of everything’ showcases intimate arrangements and the beauty of simple honest songs.
In 2010 Taneytown released a live album called ‘Angels & Live’ to capture one of their vibrant live shows on a CD. If one only knew the studio albums up to that point, one would be surprised about the heavier sounds and the rocking guitars. They sure know how to put on a party. But again, it is the ballads that capture the listener. Edwin Jongedijk and Joost Prinsen deliver a fine stripped down version of ‘Albuquerque, New Mexico’ with tender acoustic guitars and beautiful harmonies to a crowd that is so mesmerised by their performance that you could literally hear a needle drop during their song. The live album also features some of the covers the band does during their live shows.
Their latest album ‘Ashes to the Wind’ dropped in 2012. This album seems to really reflect the band’s scope. It is dynamic, daring even. The band had some time to grow since the previous album. ‘Ashes to the wind’ has many songs that show the increasing confidence of the band, both personally and professionally. Some songs are catchy and stay with you long after you heard them, like the fun ‘Quality time’. Others – like ‘Until’, written about an abusive relationship – make you think. They also have classic on-the-road songs like ‘Junction 17’ or the rocking ‘Moving on’. Taneytown give you their all and have fun doing it. That’s what this album is about. They deliver a strong album that doesn’t need to shy away from international comparison.
Currently the band is working on songs for a new album for which no fixed release date has been set yet. Make sure to catch them live, should you get the chance, or listen to their music on Spotify, Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/user/taneytownband) or on their website (www.taneytown.nl). They sure are one of Europe’s best country bands.
Some songs to give an impression:
I’m moving on: https://youtu.be/bOG6g-pyF5I
Albuquerque, New Mexico: https://youtu.be/5F6Aw0mohcY
Perfect Sins: https://youtu.be/VFw2tUFfJkI