Reprinted from The Pulp magazine – www.readthepulp.com
Craft of Kin, The Gallier Brothers, 13 tracks, 53:30, 4 Stars
If you don’t know the music of the Gallier’s, then your way behind the curve. Brothers Les and Gary – a pair of hugely talented Missouri Ozarkers – not only create memorable music; they also build the dulcimers to coax out their aural ideas. The result: Seamless elegance, and a unique addition to your CD collection.
Craft of Kin is billed as “new music for the dulcimer”, but it could also be called “classics for the new century”. The 13 songs here are rich and reveal a depth of composition that comes with experience, in music and in life.
You might know of Les through his kit work with The Domino Kings, the honky-tonk whirlwind. But the Galliers have awesome props all their own; nationally known for their innovation on the mountain dulcimer, each brother has won the title of national champion at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kan. But the Galliers are equally known and respected for their catalog of original works, infused with jazz, rock, Irish, and mountain touchstones.
And don’t forget the easy island sound on “Happy Habanero” Or the Victorian lilt of “Upstream”. Every track on Craft of Kin brings clarity and peace of mind; you are able to consider each song, and the feelings they evoke, in calm space provided by the engaging sounds. Nothing here is too crowded or compressed; the difference between noise and music is clearly defined, with the Galliers as triumphant musicians.
You will find violins and cellos threading through the compositions. Also listen for the mandolin and guitar. Joining the brothers on Craft of Kin is David Wilson, an “honorary brother” who also helped the Galliers record and mix the record: he and Gary are listed as producers. Other musicians include Steve Duede, Princess Harris, and Lee Worman.
Most local music stores should be carrying this release; if they’re not, check out www.DulcimerCentral.com and email for ordering information.
Your tastes in music might run more to hip-hop or pop, metal or oldies. Doesn’t matter. Anyone who appreciates top notch musicianship and the power of strong melodies should buy Craft of Kin. It’s one you’ll return to many times when you need to think and be inspired.