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Music Inside Out: Galactic

Brian Kern

In funk music everything counts — every note, every beat, every silence, every breath. That’s why musicians who play funk are such masters of understatement. They don’t want to dilute the groove.

Members of the New Orleans band Galactic have been groove-makers for 25 years. They’re not all from New Orleans. But they’re summa cum laude students of the city’s unusually large cast of funk and rhythm masters. In a medium that demands enough space to, as many musicians say, “smell the funk,” Galactic brings mind-altering layers of excitement to their compositions. It’s as if they’re tatting funky lace.

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Gwen Thompkins is a New Orleans native, NPR veteran and host of WWNO's Music Inside Out, where she brings to bear the knowledge and experience she amassed as senior editor of Weekend Edition, an East Africa correspondent, the holder of Nieman and Watson Fellowships, and as a longtime student of music from around the world.