Galactic is a funk and jazz jam band from New Orleans, Louisiana. Originally formed in 1994 as an octet (under the name Galactic Prophylactic) and including singer Chris Lane and guitarist Rob Gowen, the group was soon pared down to a sextet of guitarist Jeff Raines, bassist Robert Mercurio, drummer Stanton Moore, Hammond organist Rich Vogel, Theryl DeClouet on vocals, and later adding saxophonist Ben Ellman.
The group was started when Raines and Mercurio, childhood friends from the Washington D.C. area, moved to New Orleans together to attend college at Tulane and Loyola Universities, and became enamored of the local funk scene, populated by such legendary acts as The Meters and Dirty Dozen Brass Band and inspired by local legends such as Professor Longhair. There they teamed with noted New Orleans drummer Stanton Moore, saxophonist/harmonica (now producer) Ben Ellman, and Rich Vogel. In 2004, the band parted ways with vocalist DeClouet and continued as an instrumental group.
Their debut studio album, “Coolin' Off” was issued by Fog City Records in 1996. “Crazyhorse Mongoose,” their second album, was released by Capricorn in 1998. It reached a peak position of #24 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart.
Galactic’s third LP, “Late for the Future,” was released in 2000 on Polygram. It peaked at #4 on the Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. A live album, “We Love 'Em Tonight: Live at Tipitina's” was recorded at Tipitina's Uptown in New Orleans and released in 2001.
Produced by Dan the Automater, their fourth studio album, “Ruckus,” was issued by Sanctuary in 2003. The album peaked at #6 on the Contemporary Jazz Albums chart while also reaching #42 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart.
“From the Corner to the Block,” their fifth studio album, was released by ANTI- in 2007. Poduced by Count, Ben Ellman and Galactic, the album was a collaboration with various alternative hip hop musicians including Lyrics Born, Chali 2na, Mr. Lif and Boots Riley. Fellow New Orleans musician Trombone Shorty as well as DJ Z-Trip appeared on the record as well.
“Ya-Ka-May,” Galactic's sixth studio album, was released in 2010 on ANTI-. The album included guest performances by a range of New Orleans musicians. Long-established performers such as Rebirth Brass Band, Irma Thomas, Big Chief Bo Dollis of The Wild Magnolias, Allen Toussaint and Walter “Wolfman” Washington are appear, along younger performers in the traditional vein, such as Trombone Shorty and Corey Henry, John Boutté, Josh Cohen and Ryan Scully of Morning 40 Federation, and Glen David Andrews, and also Bounce artists Cheeky Blakk, Big Freedia, Katey Red, and Sissy Nobby. “Ya-Ka-May”peaked at #3 on the Billboard Jazz Albums and Heatseekers Albums charts.
ANTI- issued the live album, “The Other Side Of Midnight: Live In New Orleans” in 2011. Like their preivous live album, this was recorded at the legendary New Orleans’ nightclub Tipitinas. Guests on the album included Trombone Shorty, Cyril Neville and Big Freedia among others.
“Carnivale Electricos” was issued by ANTI- in 2012. It became their second album to enter the Billboard 200 Albums chart and again went to #3 on the Jazz Albums chart.
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