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Neal Walters: reviews Craft of Kin

From the Fall 2001 issue of Dulcimer Players News

Craft of Kin . The Gallier Brothers, Dancing Thumb Music, PO Box 4922, G.
S., Springfield, MO 65808, 417-865-4170, (CD)

Les and Gary Gallier are the “kin” implied in the title and the twobrothers make some wonderful music together as those of you who have their earlier “On the Wing” release will testify. Both are former Winfieldchampions on the mountain dulcimer and their styles are curiouslycontrasting: Les plays finger-style in the D-A-A tuning while Garyflatpicks using the D-A-D tuning. As often as not, Gary adds variouspercussion instruments to the mix while Les plays guitar and some
percussion also in addition to dulcimer. David Wilson adds his remarkable skills throughout on fiddle, cello, guitar, bass, slide guitar, andmandolin. Princess Harris plays hammered dulcimer on one track and LeeWoman plays bohdran on another. The music is all instrumental and alloriginal. Les and Gary never seem to lack for creative ideas and Craft ofKin contains 13 gems that evoke visions of everything from life along the Mississippi River to mystical Celtic sounds to fiery gypsy melodies. Theirarrangements are layered masterpieces and the dulcimer playing isremarkable for its sensitivity, taste and precision. David Wilson’s contributions are brilliant as usual – I have never heard this man do anything I didn’t totally enjoy – and help to make this an album of trulygreat acoustic music that simply transcends any attempt to categorize it asmerely an extraordinary dulcimer album. This is music that holds its ownwith anything you might hear on Windham Hill or Narada. The fact that Lesand Gary express themselves through the dulcimer is great for our dulcimer community but you’d like this stuff even if it were played on nose flute.It is indeed a great dulcimer album too and one for all of us to savor.

Neal Walters
Doofus Music/Basement Music
12228 Hollowell Church Rd
Greencastle, PA 17225

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