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Galactic Keeps Its New Orleans Pride And Vibe

Of the Oakland Press

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The five members of Galactic are all back in New Orleans these days, and guitarist Jeff Raines notes that “we did better than the average of people living there.”

But he adds that the city still has a long way to go on its road to true recovery.

“I think people sometimes fail to understand the magnitude and the incredible scope of the area that was destroyed,” says Raines, 35, who moved to the Crescent City from Washington, D.C., in the late ’80s to attend Tulane University.

“(Recovery) is just not something that will happen in even 10 years. It’ll never be back to what it was, I guess. Things have returned to normal in our lives, to some degree, but the city is by no means on its feet.”

Galactic, however, is moving forward. The group has finished a new album for fall release, an as-yet-untitled collaboration with rap MCs such as the Coup’s Boots Riley, Digable Planets’ Ladybug and Jurassic 5’s Chali 2na, as well as Mardis Gras Indian Big Chief Monk Boudreux. The band started the project in New Orleans but had to finish it in Pennsylvania after Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

Galactic, which has built a new studio since the disaster, is playing instrumental versions of some of the new songs on its current tour, but it plans to recruit some of the rappers to hit the road once the album is out.

“We’re all hip-hop fans, so we’ve always dreamed about doing a record like this,” Raines says. “We are playing a lot of the new stuff instrumentally, so that’s definitely got us excited about getting it out and really working it aggressively later this year.”

Galactic and Papa Mali perform Friday (April 13th) at the Majestic Theater, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (313) 833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.majesticdetroit.com

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