Galactic @ Brooklyn Bowl feat. Warren Haynes – June 22
Words: Chad Berndtson
Photos: Robert Chapman
For many years, Galactic was a two-in-one band. On one side, an intense, massively funky instrumental group, and on the other, a rock-, soul- and R&B-soaked backing ensemble for the great Theryl “The Houseman” deClouet, who before he was waylaid by health problems, prowled – nay, owned — the stage for large sections of Galactic shows. Being that two-in-one gave Galactic a split personality, but the New Orleans-associated sounds it’s always been known for provided a common denominator, and gave its concerts natural flow.
[All photos by Rob Chapman]
Since the end of the Houseman era – about 2004 or so – Galactic’s been a lot tougher to define, and not because they’ve branched out farther in other musical directions, notably hip-hop. They’ve always been eclectic. It’s just that these days, a Galactic concert is more of a variety show: a core group of musicians that defines the band, but draws on an extended family of collaborators to fill gaps in some areas and augment Galactic in others. Are they welcome additions? Absolutely. Are they necessary? Depends. With so much emphasis placed on those guests, Galactic limits its repertoire, and also, it can be argued, muddles its identity a bit.
But what guests. Rebirth Brass Band trombonist Corey Henry is firmly in the fold now, essential to the Galactic fabric when a jam gets cooking. Living Colour singer Corey Glover, who punctuates Galactic much like the Houseman used to, is another compelling addition — a seriously capable rock, soul and R&B vocalist with a theatrical streak a mile wide.
READ ON for more from Galactic at Brooklyn Bowl…