Almost fifteen years after first forming, Galactic has slowly been edging closer toward their hip hop influences, especially on their 2010 release Ya-Ka-May, but with their latest release, the live album The Other Side of Midnight: Live in New Orleans, the band takes a step back to their funk roots. The show was recordedOctober 29th, 2010 at Tipitina's, a club in New Orleans, and the group pulls out all the stops to showcase their instrumental mastery for a hometown crowd. In fact, when describing them to a friend, I framed them as a New Orleans Soulive, a strong collective of musicians that can truly jam it out for real.
Guests stepping up in front of the band to take control of the mic include Cyril Neville (from another New Orleans original, the famed Meters -whose song Gossip they cover during the show - and of course the Neville Brothers) and Big Freedia, but there are still plenty of instrumentals to show what the band does best. In fact, they have a few instrumental guests to bolster their sound as well, including Trombone Shorty (who plays in Orleans Avenue) and the Soul Rebels Brass Band. Considering that many live albums are recorded over the course of several shows, and that this album all comes from a single show, the musicianship on display is impressive. Even the instrumentals have enough funk in them to hook, and the album scoots through amazingly quickly.
Galactic - Gossip featuring Cyril Neville (Meters cover) : The Other Side of Midnight: Live in New Orleans
and an older one they did in tribute for another New Orleans giant, Fats Domino: