In Loving Memory of Theryl DeClouet
In New Orleans, 25 years ago, guitarist Jeff Raines and bassist Robert Mercurio decided to start a funk band and name it Galactic. Within a few years, they were playing college campuses across the country. How could they have ever known that their band would go on to define a genre, with millions of fans around the world?
When they were putting their sound together, building the seminal 6-piece line-up that would become a jam-band staple, they turned to Theryl DeClouet for lead vocals. And it was magic all at once. This is him on their debut release Coolin' Off, with a short monologue about New Orleans:
I had that album, when it came out, and when they came to our college campus, in Madison, my friend Stew did the booking and they showed up missing a keyboard. I quickly offered up my Wurlitzer as a loaner. We lugged that thing right onto stage, in the Rathskeller, to a packed audience. It's still one of my favorite college memories.
That was 20 years ago now, and Galactic has not stopped touring, writing new material, or pleasing new fans - they just keep going. Because of their relentless schedule, after the first few records, Theryl DeClouet was not able to continue touring with Galactic. Their sound was defined then, and lives now, as an open-door in-crowd: part New Orleans magic and part deep, gritty humanity. Theryl DeClouet did as much as anyone in those years to create that image, and to put the music on the most solid of ground. His inflected and gritty tenor will always be synonymous with soul and should be remembered in the same breath as his beloved home, New Orleans.
A Message From Galactic
After receiving the news of our original singer Theryl "The Houseman" DeClouet's passing, we have decided to release the recording of the song we had been working on together this past year called "Can't You Believe". The song features background vocals from Ivan Neville, Erica Falls, Shamarr Allen on trumpet, and Corey Henry on trombone. All proceeds from the song will be going directly to Houseman's New Orleans Musicians Clinic to help his family with the medical & funeral expenses accrued during his passing.
show your support today here -> neworleansmusiciansclinic.org/donate
(please indicate "Houseman" on your donations when prompted)
This song is featured on our Roots Collection playlist.
Music writer and podcaster.