Neal Walters: reviews Craft of Kin

From the Fall 2001 issue of Dulcimer Players News 

Les and Gary Gallier are the “kin” implied in the title and the two brothers make some wonderful music together as those of you who have their earlier “On the Wing” release will testify.

Both are former Winfield champions on the mountain dulcimer and their styles are curiously contrasting: Les plays finger-style in the D-A-A tuning while Gary flatpicks using the D-A-D tuning. As often as not, Gary adds various percussion 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, and mandolin. Princess Harris plays hammered dulcimer on one track and Lee Woman plays bohdran on another. The music is all instrumental and all original. Les and Gary never seem to lack for creative ideas and Craft of Kin contains 13 gems that evoke visions of everything from life along the Mississippi River to mystical Celtic sounds to fiery gypsy melodies. Their arrangements are layered masterpieces and the dulcimer playing is remarkable 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 truly great acoustic music that simply transcends any attempt to categorize it as merely an extraordinary dulcimer album. This is music that holds its own with anything you might hear on Windham Hill or Narada. The fact that Les and 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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