M A S T E R F U L M U S I C A L M E L T I N G P O T
The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra defines versatile artistry while
By Eric Harabadian
Through seven years and six albums, the Galactic Cowboy Orchestra has developed an eclectic sound interchangeably classified as “art-rock,” “jam-based,” “jazz-grass” and “jazz-rock fusion,” plus further variations. This Minnesota-based foursome’s web site also claims the catchall, “Mind freakin’ music!”… “Call it what you will,” goes the boast, “but it’s artsy as hell and it rocks!”
Likewise, a group bio featuring pet dogs as prominently as their owners suggests a populist approach to genre mixing that pulls you in yet leaves you guessing. Consider, for example, a rendition of “The Broken Marionette” from 2013 opus Zombie Mouth. Things begin innocently enough as bluegrassy violin lilts sweetly before turning with guitar toward edgier turf. And you never heard a more virtuosic take on traditional ditty “Wabash Cannonball” than the crazy-nimble romp done GCO style.
Bassist/vocalist John Wright is resident stylistic alchemist, hybridizing American roots music through flashy instrumental chops and unconventional arrangements. While group home base Minneapolis-St. Paul isn’t exactly Wild West territory, “cowboy” nods fittingly to folk-ish Americana lacing symphonically improvised timbres of cosmic inspiration.
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