It's shaping up to be quite a celebration for New Orleans. The Saints finally won the Super Bowl and on February 9th, local band Galactic will release their groundbreaking new album YA-KA-MAY, an ambitious and exhilarating merging of New Orleans musical styles, from the gender bending regional hip hop known as "bounce" to brass band, raucous funk and beyond. Never has an album so comprehensively captured the diversity and heart of the music steeped city. Vocals are provided by a suitably eclectic roster of local legends including Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas as well as young underground bounce artists like Cheeky Blakk, Big Freedia and Sissy Nobby. The initial critical response to YA-KA-MAY has been of unanimous acclaim.
The album's fascinating and informative liner notes were written by eminent author and musicologist. Ned Sublette, who's books include: "The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square" and "The Year Before the Flood: A Story of New Orleansâ€Ž."
This past weekend Galactic producer producer/horn player Ben Ellman and drummer Stanton Moore spoke with NPR's Weekend Edition about their ambitious new album. To listen, just go href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123424006">here>.
In concurrence with the YA-KA-MAY's release, Galactic have taken their rollicking must be seen to be believed live show on the road for an extensive tour of North America. Dates are listed below.
Critical Praise For YA-KA-MAY:
"This is NOT your grandparents' New Orleans record, though the special guests will make your grandparents shout "Hoo-Na-Nay!"" - Huffington Post
"Ya-Ka-May is a wholly unique, fully New Orleans creation. For that reason it is a blast, literally, from beginning to end." - Creative Loafing
"Ya-Ka-May" might be the most thoroughly current overview of the Crescent City's musical landscape since Katrina." - Washington Post
"When it comes down to it, Galactic is willfully alone in what it creates: a jam-happy mutant funk culled from the worlds of rock, jazz, reggae, and hip-hop." - Philadelphia Inquirer
"The fact these guys represent a whole scene in New Orleans underscores the city's creative range and demonstrates, yet again, its continually open mind." -New York Daily News
"Ya-Ka-May raises a hell greater than any hurricane." - Boulder Weekly "Another energetic and inventive mashup of New Orleans old and new from the city's favorite chroniclers of local music color, definitely one of the most exciting Galactic albums to date." - Drum Magazine
"Ya-Ka-May successfully breaks the mould that has contained the public perception of New Orleans and throws the floodgates wide open for all new talent and musical approaches to mix and mutate the public perception of the community. Whether that was Galactic's intention from the start isn't really made plain here, but this album will certainly open a few minds to the possibility that there's more to New Orleans than they originally considered." - Ground Control
"There's a lot audacious about YA-KA-MAY, but New Orleans is long overdue for an audacious album. In this case, Galactic has made one that challenges many of the city's musical conventions while showing a profound affection and belief in the fundamental impulses behind them. That it's not just bold but engaging makes it doubly successful." - Offbeat
"thoroughly tasty." - Relix
Galactic Tour Dates:
Feb 08, Washington, DC. 9:30 Club Feb 09, Raleigh, NC. Lincoln Theatre Feb 10, Charlotte, NC. Visulite or Fillmore Feb 11, Charleston, SC. Music Farm Feb 12, Atlanta, Ga. Variety Feb 13, New Orleans, Tipitina's Feb 15, New Orleans, Tipitina's Feb 18, St. Louis, Mo. The Pageant Feb 19, Lawrence, Mo. Granada or Liberty Feb20, Denver, Co. Fillmore Theatre Feb 21, Aspen, Co. The Belly Up Feb 23, Missoula, Mt. The Wilma Theatre Feb 24, Bellingham, WA. The Nightlight Feb 25, Whistler, Canada Whistler Village Stage Feb 26, Seattle, WA. Showbox Feb 27, Portland, Or. Roseland Ballroom Feb 28, Crystal Bay, NV. Crown Room at Crystal Ballroom Mar 02, Santa Cruz, Ca. Moe's Alley Mar 03, Solana Beach, Ca. Belly Up Mar 04, Los Angeles, El Rey Mar 05, San Francisco, Ca. Fillmore Mar 06, San Francisco, Ca. Fillmore Mar 07, Las Vegas, NV Wasted Space Apr 08, Madison, WI Majestic Theatre Apr 09, Minneapolis, MN Cabooze Apr 10, Chicago, IL Vic Theatre Apr 11, Cleveland, OH House of Blues Apr 13, Lexington, KY Buster's Apr 14, Asheville, NC Orange Peel Apr 15, Nashville, TN Exit/In Apr 16, Memphis, TN Minglewood Hall May 1, New Orleans, LA Jazz & Heritage Festival