There’s no doubting that the music community has stepped up to the plate en masse to support its New Orleans brethren, effected in any number of tragic ways by Hurricane Katrina. Six-piece funk outfit Galactic—whose homes and studio were severely damaged in the storm—experienced this generosity first-hand when Red Rock Recording, a first-rate recording studio in scenic Saylorsburg, Penn., gave the band two weeks of studio time—gratis—when the displaced band needed a spot to work on their next album.
The band had just performed at the massive From the Big Apple to the Big Easy benefit concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and, partly because they had nowhere else to go, migrated to the rural community near the Pocono Mountians where guitarist Jeff Raines’ father lived.
“We were supposed to be working on the album [at our place in New Orleans] but Katrina forced us to look at other options,” says bassist Robert Mercurio. “We were going to just rent a cheap house somewhere and set up, so we called [Red Rock] to see if we could borrow some gear, maybe an MBox. The owners called us back and said they would rent their $1,000 a day studio to us for free for two weeks. It’s such a cool thing for them to do, and it’s a great studio. Acoustically, it’s perfect.”
During their two-week stay, the group was able to not only write and rehearse with producer Lyrics Born, who will also perform on the new album and join them on tour, they also got some initial tracks cut.
After the group heads out next week for their Ten Year Invasion Tour with openers Lyrics Born and ALO, Galactic plans to return to New Orleans to repair their studio, and hopefully, finish recording.