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Galactic plays free concert

Jennie Lay

Galactic is a New Orleans-based band that melds jazz, funk, rock, blues and a whole lot of imagination into its notably organic jam sessions. The sextet plays cool, modern music with a groove that the New York Times called “some of the most danceable music on Earth.”

Galactic returns to Steamboat Springs today for a free concert downtown at Howelsen Hill. The show is the fourth in the summer’s free concert series.

Members of Galactic cite influences such as The Meters, Professor Longhair, the Neville Brothers and Dr. John, but they don’t hesitate to credit heroes from Led Zeppelin to James Brown to Phil Lesh for their funk-filled Crescent City sound as well. The group’s seasoned musicians hail from Washington, D.C., Omaha, Los Angeles and Louisiana, but they merged in New Orleans in pursuit of the city’s unique and diverse musical roots.

With the release of their latest album, “Ruckus,” Galactic broke with its tradition of road-testing material for months, if not years, before committing it to tape. “Ruckus” is full of songs written specifically for the album that were inspired by live recordings. After recording all of their live shows, the band gleaned its favorite musical moments from the tapes and pieced them together to seed their new songs.

Joining the ranks of the jam-band scene during the years, Galactic often features lengthy solos and wild renditions of its own hard-driving rhythms. The sextet is comprised of bassist Robert Mercurio, guitarist Jeff Raines, keyboardist Richard Vogel, drummer Stanton Moore, saxophonist Ben Ellman and vocalist Theryl deClouet.

Now in its 12th year, the Steamboat Free Summer Concert Series includes children’s activities, a petting zoo, vendors selling food and drink and a bike corral to store concertgoers’ nonmotorized transport at the music event. No dogs or alcohol may be brought into the concert.

Attendees are requested to bring canned-food donations for LIFT-UP Food Bank to the concert.

The free concert series concludes Labor Day weekend on Headwall at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area, with Little Feat performing Sept. 4 and Delbert McClinton appearing Sept. 5.


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