Local funk jam band Galactic woke up to a bit of a surprise this morning. Tributes had begun to spread surrounding claims that their former frontman Theryl “Houseman” DeClouet had died. DeClouet, who left the band in 2004 due to complications from diabetes, is alive as of this publication and is in hospice.
Fans flocked to the post to keep the love going for DeClouet, sharing their favorite memories of the long-time face of the funk and jazz fusion act.
“I was about to see a show at the The Howlin’ Wolf New Orleans circa 2002, in a pissy mood, and arguing with a friend outside,” wrote Sherwood Collins. “Up walks Theryl Houseman DeClouet and says something to the effect of “My man, we gotta be cool little lambs and chill.” Handshake with a finger snap, good mood installed, and a fun night was had. Sending good vibes to his family, you guys in Galactic, and all the people he touched in NOLA and Chicago. Be well, ‘my man’… and don’t rush to where your going. (sic)”
Others praised DeClouet as the best vocalist to serve in the long-running band. DeClouet was out front for the band’s first four albums.
“Though Galactic has has had many talented singers, the Houseman was the best,” wrote Ed Van Waes. “I wish they’d would do more of that material when playing live.”
The Maple Leaf Bar was among the local institutions fooled by the fake news. They posted an update apologizing for jumping the gun along with a statement from Gina Figliuolo saying that Houseman is still alive. Her statement was confirmed in the comments by Galactic saxophonist Ben Ellman.
“Houseman’s still with us, y’all (this according to reliable sources),” Figliuolo wrote. “He’s definitely not well, and sadly we will probably be bidding him farewell sooner than later, but he hasn’t left us yet. Man, it was amazing how quickly that “news” spread. Keep him in your thoughts and hearts.”