Remembering Theryl ‘Houseman’ DeClouet: A Galactic Vocalist

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On July 15, 2018, vocalist Theryl “The Houseman” DeClouet died at the age of 66. Born in New Orleans on September 17, 1951, DeClouet was a co-founding member of the acclaimed funk group Galactic, appearing on the band’s 1996 debut album Coolin’ Off, 1998’s Crazyhorse Mongoose, 2000’s Late For The Future and 2003’s Ruckus. Members of Galactic also contributed to DeClouet’s 2001 solo album The Houseman Cometh.

After leaving the band, DeClouet continued appearing with Galactic, including in 2013 at Tipitina’s (the New Orleans club Galactic just purchased) for the Bring The Houseman Home benefit concert. DeClouet also participated in 2016 at the Red Rocks show celebrating the 20th anniversary of Coolin’ Off and at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Galactic drummer Stanton Moore shared the following in rememberance of The Houseman:

This year, we lost a giant in our Galactic family. I am still truly saddened by the loss of my good friend and a man I consider one of my mentors, Theryl “The Houseman” DeClouet. He passed peacefully in mid-July in New Orleans surrounded by his family.

For any of you who had the honor of meeting him, you know what a unique and special individual he was. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who loved life as much as he did. I guess that’s why he held on for so long.

When he decided to get in my parents’ 1978 Ford Econoline van and hit the road with us in August of 1996 he was just about the same age as I am now. He believed in us enough to do that. I know now at this age what a leap of faith that was for him. I truly feel that his belief in us in the early days made us believe in ourselves. It is that belief that has gotten us to where we are now. We couldn’t have done it without you, House. I am eternally grateful and will love you always.

Shortly after his death, Galactic issued a new track featuring The Houseman’s vocals. The band revealed they had been working on the since-shared single “Can’t You Believe” over the past year. Proceeds from the sales of the song will be donated to Houseman’s New Orleans Musician’s Clinic campaign covering remaining medical and funeral expenses.

Galactic’s bassist Robert Mercurio also shared this remembrance of The Houseman:

I have been thinking about Houseman A LOT lately. With all of the excitement of Galactic’s purchase of Tipitina’s, I think he would have been the most proud of us. He always taught us to think BIG and outside of the box.

I hope that he is looking down on us and smiling. Miss him so much – wish I could just pick up the phone and call him.

Listen to a playlist spanning The Houseman’s career with Galactic and beyond below: