The hitchhiker’s guide to Galactic

Long-time funksters Galactic have found the recipe for success.

by Spencer Doar

What: Galactic

When: 8 p.m., Friday

Where: Cabooze, 917 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis

Cost: $25-27

Ages: 18+


The guys in Galactic have their ducks in a row.

But then again, after listening to record after record from this almost two-decade old group, that comes as no surprise. Their albums feature funked-up, solid demonstrations of instrument mastery all caged in an inescapable appreciation for the rich musical heritage of their native New Orleans.

“We have kind of hit on this formula really,” guitarist Jeff Raines said. “We lead these relatively regular lives at home and have this kickass job. We are very protective of that.”

Their destiny is firmly in their own hands. Gone are the 180 days a year on the road in a van, slogging through the tour muck. Not gone are the bright blare of horns, the groovy presence of Stanton Moore on drums and a carousel of featured artists that coalesce into a feel-good experience highlighting their myriad influences — jazz to electronic to hip-hop.

They have earned the right to do things on their own terms in their own studio.

“Two of the guys in the band especially are very into the Pro Tools dark arts,” Raines said. “So it’s not like, ‘We’re going to make a record so let’s hire a producer.’ It’s pretty much a 365-days-a-year thing where we’re able to write and work on stuff all of the time when we’re home.”

The latest result of this process was “Carnivale Electricos,” their homage to Mardi Gras music.

“It’s so iconic here but so dated,” Raines said. “Parades, drum corps, people on the block hanging out and listening to music. It seemed like an interesting tradition to become involved with.”

Galactic had no problems succeeding in their attempt to update these classics while adding their own touches.

Looking at their collaborative history, this is, once again, not surprising

They’ve proven to be equally at home with Juvenile and Mystikal as they are with the Neville Brothers.

Tracks from “Carnivale Electricos” will mingle with selections from their recent ventures like 2010’s well-received “Ya-Ka-May.” They’ll be performing with up-and-coming vocalist David Shaw of the Revivalists.

“It’s going to be a smorgasbord of material from our last three records,” Raines said. “The show’s going to be banging — I guarantee.”

That’s a heady comment but one entirely justified for a group who loses nothing as a listening experience when performing live.

In fact, Galactic is trying to get back to their roots on their next project.

“For some reason at this point we’ve come to the conclusion that we should get back to playing as a unit in a room,” Raines said. “You lose a certain amount of spontaneity; sometimes things take an unexpected turn when we’re playing live together in a room.”

With any luck, they’ll be playing live together in rooms for years to come.

“We were very fortunate to start when we did and maintain a camaraderie and friendship,” Raines said. We obviously spend a lot of time together — it’s very much like a family. In fact, we probably see each other more than our families.

“There are so many kickass bands that have broken up because of various personal reasons or infighting. I’m so happy that’s not happened to us.”