Garage A Trois has detailed a new studio album, Calm Down Cologne, due out via Royal Potato Family on Friday, April 16th. The band also shared the title track from the album, available now on all streaming platforms.
Comprised of multi-talented guitarist Charlie Hunter, enigmatic saxophonist Skerik, and Galactic drummer Stanton Moore, the original Garage A Trois lineup released its first album, Mysteryfunk, in 1999 to widespread acclaim. The band underwent various lineup evolutions in the years that followed before officially going dormant in 2011 after the release of Always Be Happy, But Stay Evil.
In 2019, Hunter, Moore, and Skerik reunited as OG Garage A Trois for a handful of live performances including a memorable showing on Jam Cruise 18. That reunion led to an afternoon recording session at Seattle’s Studio Litho (the home base of Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard) across the street from where the band was playing a three-night run at Nectar Lounge. With the help of engineer Randall Dunn, Garage A Trois recorded the entirety of Calm Down Cologne during the single studio session.
“Getting to make this record with two of my long time musical collaborators was a pure joy,” explains Stanton Moore in a press release. “We took a decidedly old school approach to making this one. During the day of what was to be our third night at Nectar Lounge, we carried the drums, uncased, with the cymbals still on the stands, across the street and placed them in the studio. We were getting sounds within minutes. We recorded for a few hours, carried the drums back and played the gig. No muss, no fuss.”
Adds Skerik, “Charlie and Stanton have been playing together for 25 years. There is a limitless quantity of output that they are able to generate. My job is to stay out of the way of their immovable freight train of rhythmic power and add melodic content on top. And the final element of this sonic signature comes from Randall who glues the music together in the recording and mixing process. He’s the perfect engineer for records that depend on improvisation. He moves fast and gets huge sounds that convey the dynamics and power of the band.”
As for the album’s curious title, the story goes that legendary underground Seattle artist Rick Klu gave Skerik the idea when he was describing a bouncer having to use some ‘calm down cologne’ on an unruly patron.
The newly shared title track shows off the versatility of these world-class musicians as Skerik lays down a catchy horn riff and a slew of synth and organ embellishments, Hunter holds down the low end with ease on his Hybrid Big6 guitar/bass, and Moore cycles through various rhythmic palettes to keep the groove continuously fresh and engaging. While it clocks in at just over two-and-a-half minutes, “Calm Down Cologne” sets the stage for what’s sure to be another standout recording from the trio. Listen to “Calm Down Cologne” by Garage A Trois below.
Garage A Trois – “Calm Down Cologne”
[Video: The Royal Potato Family]