Theryl DeClouet - vocals; Ben Ellman - saxophone, harmonica; Robert Mercurio - bass; Stanton Moore - drums; Jeff Raines - guitar; Richard Vogel - keyboards; Skerik - sax; Guest: Cornel Williams - bass; Guest: Jon Cleary - piano
When speaking of Galactic, the word is funk, and yet the New Orleans band is certainly musically multi-lingual—conversant as they are in blues, jazz, and good old R&B. On this day in '99, at the second of two appearances at the Mountain Aire Festival in Calaveras County—Mark Twain country—the band uses the interplanetary language of funk and the rhythm of the one to deliver a set that's all fired-up.
Welcoming the crowd back to another day of Mountain Aire, vocalist Theryl DeClouet gives it his best funky Nawlins-style growl. When the band isn't jamming instrumentally, he fronts them, leading the crowd in various sing and "sway-alongs," like the crazy-backwards guitar jam, "Get Ready," and the call to "shake your booty," "check out your mind." Dedicating the sex-funk groove "Century City" to all the ladies, DeClouet raps a good game, though in Galactic's universe, vocalists have been known to come and go while their reliance on the rhythm of the funky song remains the same.
Over the course of this set, the bass is heavy, the keyboard is slammin', and the band is jammin', taking it from soul high to funk down low. For the classic New Orleans-grooved Lee Dorsey song "Get Out My Life Woman," Galactic are joined by Crescent City brethren, Cornell "Continental" Williams on bass and Jon Cleary on piano, both of whom add some real Louisiana soul to the situation.
Since its birth in New Orleans in 1994, Galactic's line up has consisted of DC childhood friends Jeff Raines (guitar) and Robert Mercurio (bass) who made the move South and were immediately impacted, imprinted, and inspired by the signature blend of roots rhythm and multi-cultural sound they found there. Picking up where the Funky Meters, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Professor Longhair left off, Galactic's modern Nawlins beats are backed-up by solid members Stanton Moore (drums), Rich Vogel (Hammond B-3), and Ben Ellman (sax).