GALACTIC is a collaborative band with a unique format. It’s a stable quintet that plays together with high musicianship. They’ve been together so long they’re telepathic. But though the band hasn’t had a lead singer for years, neither is it purely an instrumental group. GALACTIC is part of a diverse community of musicians, and in their own studio, with Mercurio and Ellman producing, they have the luxury of experimenting. So on their albums, they do something that’s unusual in rock but not so controversial an idea in, say, hiphop: they create something that’s a little like a revue, a virtual show featuring different vocalists (mostly from New Orleans) and instrumental soloists each taking their turn on stage in the GALACTIC sound universe.
Mostly the band creates new material in collaboration with its many guests, though they occasionally rework a classic. Despite the appearance of various platinum names on GALACTIC albums, they especially like to work with artists who are still underground. If you listen to CARNIVALE ELECTRICOS together with the two previous studio albums (YA-KA-MAY and FROM THE CORNER TO THE BLOCK), you’ll hear the most complete cross-section of what’s happening in contemporary New Orleans anywhere – all of it tight and radio-ready.
Despite the electronics and studio technology, GALACTIC’s albums are very much band records. Mercurio explained the GALACTIC process, which starts out with the beat: “The way we write music,” he says, “we come up with a demo, or a basic track, and then we collectively decide how we’re gonna finish it.” The result is a hard-grooving sequence of tight beats across a range of styles that glides from one surprise to the next.
Nigel Hall Band
Nigel’s appreciation for artists like Herbie Hancock, Donny Hathaway, Roy Ayers and Rick James inspired him to place his hands upon various instruments and play. His keen ear and unstoppable drive have helped him to become a one-man band, appearing on keyboards, bass, drums and even vocals. His skillful sounds have been featured in several venues across the country but are most often showcased in his hometown of Portland, Maine. His funk/jazz band, The Nigel Hall Quintet is a regular occurrence at The Big Easy nightclub.
Nigel Hall is an avid listener and enthusiastic creator of great music. When Nigel is not out playing live shows, he is home recording his ideas. When he sleeps, he is dreaming up his next composition. He is the Curtis Mayfield of today, the D’Angelo of yesterday and those who have experienced his talents first hand anxiously anticipate who he will be tomorrow. If you ask Nigel to tell you a little bit about himself, he will simply say, “I’m just someone who lives, eats, drinks music.” To learn anything more, you’d have to listen to the cd . . . it will become quite clear that his statement rings true and that there’s so very much more.