The 'Brass Tracks' tour comes to Ashland

Hip-hop band Galactic is heading across the country with a stop in Ashland at 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, at the Historic Ashland Armory.

Opening for Galactic will be Crown City Rockers, a five-member hip-hop band from Oakland, Calif., by way of Boston, Mass., and Pasadena, Calif. Formerly known as Mission, Crown City Rockers plays old-school-inflected hip-hop music with live instrumentation, citing influences such as A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, KRS-One and De La Soul. The group is currently working on its upcoming album "5 Gold Stars."

The five-man group Galactic includes drummer Stanton Moore, bassist Robert Mercurio, saxophonist/harmonica player Ben Ellman, keyboardist Richard Vogel, and guitarist Jeff Raines. The tour also will include Shamarr Allen on trumpet and Corey Henry on trombone.

Galactic's sixth album, "From the Corner to the Block," features a guest list of hip-hop lyricists including Juvenile, Gift of Gab (Blackalicious), Lyrics Born, Ladybug Mecca (Digable Planets), Mr. Lif, Chali 2na (Jurrasic 5), Vursatyl (Lifesavas), and Boots Riley (The Coup). The band characterizes the album not as a typical hip-hop album, but a contemporary funk record that just happens to feature hip-hop vocalists.

"We never set out to make a rap record," explains Ellman, who produced the record with assistance from engineer Count (Halou, Quannum, DJ Shadow). "We wanted to kinda modernize the New Orleans sound," adds Mercurio. The New Orleans legacy echoes throughout the album.

The band started out over a decade ago as an instrumental act in the tradition of the Meters, the JB's, and Booker T. & the MG's — bands equally comfortable recording their own material or working with vocalists. "From the Corner to the Block" grew out of Galactic's experiences touring with artists like the Roots, Jurassic 5, Triple Threat DJ's and Gift of Gab.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the show. Tickets for the all-ages concert are available at, ticketswest, and as well as at retail outlets: Music Coop, Low Down Boards, Ashland; and Bad Ass Coffee, Six-One-Nine, Medford.

For more information or to order tickets, contact Renegade Productions at 530-583-2801.

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