When someone mentions New Orleans, this funky jazz tune starts playing in my head. There’s a Moog in the background, some back-up singers Oooo-Aahhh-ing while they twist from side to side, and some Jazzman getting downright biblical with his saxophone. Is it any wonder that this city created the many-headed musical beast that is Galactic (and was Galactic Prophylactic)?
While the group started as eight musicians getting intimate with their instruments on stage in 1994, it quickly slimmed down and found shape as a sextet that actually sang. And man, did they sing. Theryl DeClouet was leading the way back then (and until 2004 when doctors told him to stop), the veritable House Man who carried the soulful jazz-fusion to the masses in recording booths and 10,000 seat theaters as if they were the same animal.
Like any good band, these cats have picked up some new tricks over the course of their 18 year existence and have incorporated influences from electronic to hip-hop to John Mayer. Really. And no matter the orientation, each jam is no less infectious than the last. On the “To Listen To” list would be the albums Late for the Future, Crazyhorse Mongoose, and Ruckus. Sample one of these albums and be ready to move; I dare you to listen to “Doublewide” and not immediately get the feeling to start tapping fingers, bobbing your head, and eventually give in as the aural onslaught engulfs your eardrums and sets the bottoms of your feet aflame.
While the band hasn’t had a lead singer since 2004, they’ve continued releasing albums as a monster instrumental group and touring with Corey Glover (of Living Colour fame) as their lead singer. Galactic continues to make powerful, soulful music filled with emotion and verve. Their live performances (which I can attest to – Forecastle 2012!) get the crowds grooving, and their tunes continue to please the funky masses. For tour dates, new singles, and other odds and ends, check out http://www.galacticfunk.com/.