By Andy J. Gordon Three extremely talented bands thrilled a receptive crowd at the Ford Theatre in Hollywood on March 29, 2019, as Galactic, New Orleans’ leaders of modern [...]
It happens often in music. Artists from different groups get together for a side project. Sometimes they record an album, but usually it is for a live show where the members jam on some cover songs and try to create a unique musical experience. They each go back to their respective groups with memories of a special night – some fond, some mixed. The problem with these so called “superjams” is the lack of cohesion and big egos getting in the way of a magical music experience. That is not remotely the case with Dragon Smoke. This New Orleans based quartet of band leaders came to The Mint on December 7, 2011 during a brief California mini-tour. Although they have performed as a group only a handful of times, they played like a band that has been a successful unit for years. The savvy, NOLA music loving packed house was blown away by their awesome show.
New Orleans bands often cross musical genres, and Galactic is no exception. In fact, they are at the forefront of being innovative while keeping their jazz and funk roots alive. They came to the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles on March 31, 2011 with a couple of special guests, Cyril Neville, and Corey Henry. Galactic’s recent recordings have added elements of hip hop to their usual funk and soul infused rock sound, so their live performance was sure to be interesting.
New Orleans has a diverse music scene, and a long history of bands playing jazz/funk fusion. Galactic (www.galacticfunk.com) carries on that tradition and recently, has added elements of hip hop into their mix. On their newly released album “Ya Ka May”, the group invited a varied list of New Orleans musical talent to help with the broadening of their sound. Artists as diverse as Big Freedia (www.myspace.com/bigfreedia), a “bounce” hip hop singer, and Cyril Neville, one of the legendary founders of the Neville Brothers (www.nevilles.com/) offered their assistance with new songs. For their current tour, Galactic brought along Freedia, Neville, and Corey Henry, who is one of the talented trombonists from Rebirth Brass Band (http://rebirthbrassband.wetpaint.com/.) Their show at the El Rey consisted of new and old material. They pleased the loyal fans in attendance, and gained some new ones with the experimental diversion from their regular sound.