Galactic & The Revivalists

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Written by: Matthew McGuire
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Galactic and The Revivalists have both released new records on Friday, July 17. In celebration of all the new music, this review combines both albums and puts the head-to-head. New Orleans music such a rich history in music. This review is to honor and pay respect to the past and present musicians from New Orleans.

In one corner you have Galactic. The aged veterans with over twenty years of experience. Their album, Into the Deep features an array of vocalist including: Macy Gray, JJ Grey, David Shaw, Maggie Koerner, Ms. Charm Taylor, Brushy One String and Ryan Montbleau.

Originally, Galactic was backed by Theryl deClouet on vocals. This album features a fresh selection of vocalists that add to the Galactic/New Orleans sound and atmosphere.

Into the Deep marks Galactic’s 11th album, (including live concert releases.) Their first release was in 1996 with Coolin’ Off.

In the opposing corner stands The Revivalists. The band was founded in 2007, and they are getting close to having ten years under their belts soon. David Shaw, vocalist for The Revivalists, performed on both albums with a guest spot on ‘Dolla Diva’ for Galactic’s Into the Deep.

The Revivalists and Galactic both utilize horn players, keyboardists and bass lines that drip New Orleans from wall to wall. 

Galactic Into the Deep

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The New Orleans-based group known as Galactic started in 1993. They have produced  Into the Deep begins with ‘Sugar Doosie’ to build a Mardi Gras/Jazz Fest vibe right away.

This album was produced and arranged by Galactic’s Ben Ellman and Robert Mercurio. Into the Deep was released on Provogue Records (part of the Mascot Label Group.)

‘Right On’ with Ms. Charm Taylor produces a thick and sweaty beat layered with the energy and presence by Taylor. Robert Mercurio and Stanton Moore put together the foundation, and Ben Ellman delivers on the saxophone.

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The Revivalists Men Amongst Mountains

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The Revivalists return with their fourth record titled Men Amongst Mountains out on Wind-Up Records.

‘Keep Going’ is the opening track on Men Amongst Mountains. It showcases the soft and sensitive side of David Shaw, as well as showing the strength and support from the band in other sections of the song.

Ed Williams, on slide guitar, layers an additional set of strings to the soulful package. His playing reminds me of Robert Randolph with gospel overtones as an accompany to the alternative rock beat and rhythm.

“It’s our first new release in three years. I’m extremely proud of this album and for the devotion of my band mates and producer Ben Ellman.” – Zack Feinberg

I had heard a few of the tracks live before, such as ‘Stand Up’ at the Hangout Music Festival. It gave a layer of history to have heard the song live two years ago, and then have the band continue to master it for a studio release. It brought me right back to the Palladia Stage when I first saw The Revivalists in concert.

Both albums resonate with the music history from New Orleans. Galactic may take the win in the head-to-head battle, but The Revivalists gave them a solid run for their money with half of the years in experience. It shows the progressive nature within The Revivalists. In addition, these albums give the world a new soundtrack for the Summer of 2015.

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