By Jim Stanford on March 20, 2012
Galactic arrived in Teton Valley to a spring snowstorm yesterday and enjoyed a day off. “Hanging in lovely cold Victor ID,” the band Tweeted.
Things will get considerably warmer tonight when the New Orleans funk ensemble takes the stage for a sold-out show at the Knotty Pine. The log cabin club will resemble a sauna straight out of Frenchmen Street in the Big Easy.
With an extra day of rest, band members could ride some of the nearly 2 feet of powder that has blanketed the Tetons, or delve into the Kansas City barbecue served by Knotty Pine owner Brice Nelson — “the best food we’ve ever eaten at a venue,” saxophonist Ben Ellman proclaimed during the group’s last visit in 2009.
Either way, the band is likely to come out roaring. On this tour Galactic again is joined by trombonist Corey Henry, along with singer Corey Glover,
former frontman for Living Colour. The group just released a new album on Mardi Gras Day, Carnivale Electricos, featuring a host of guest musicians.
The album shimmers with Brazilian samba and shakes to Mardi Gras Indian chants. Rappers Mannie Fresh and Mystikal add rhymes to the energetic beats.
Since forming 18 years ago, Galactic has taken New Orleans funk forward from its brass and jazz roots, infusing the grooves with electronica and hip-hop. The group — Stanton Moore on drums, Rich Vogel on keys, Rob Mercurio on bass, Jeff Raines on guitar and Ellman on sax and harmonica — also has acted as a catalyst, combining the city’s various flavors and (as the top video attests) bringing together players as diverse as bouncer Big Freedia and piano legend Allen Toussaint. The latest CD even features a high school marching band.
Carnivale Electricos celebrates the spirit of Mardi Gras. With that holiday in the rearview mirror, tonight will be a taste of Jazz Fest, just around the corner.
From its early days playing Cafe Brasil on Frenchmen, Galactic has toured the world, including stops at Targhee twice, the Mangy Moose many times and now a second visit to the Knotty Pine. While there has been a lot of excitement, justifiably, surrounding the revival of the Pink Garter Theater in Jackson, the Knotty remains the closest thing we have to a New Orleans juke joint. Tonight it sure will feel like one.