The Gallier Brothers
Les and Gary Gallier, nationally recognized as pioneers and innovators on the Mountain Dulcimer, are redefining not only how the instrument is played but also are expanding it’s musical realm. Each won the title of National Champion at the Walnut Valley Festival by introducing two very unique playing styles. Gary flatpicks melodies on all the strings, much like a guitarist, while Les, playing in a different tuning, slips on fingerpicks to produce surprisingly intricate passages. Among the various competitions held at Winfield, they have the distinction of being the only two brothers to ever win the title on the same instrument.
Another departure from the typical, The Gallier Brothers compose 90% of the music they play. Blended together, you can hear the influences.a hint of New Grass and Dawg for a progressive edge, flavored with Classical and Celtic in smooth precision. Add a taste of Mountain styles and a true signature sound is created. Anyone familiar with the lap dulcimer would expect two such accomplished players to coax beautiful, flowing music from the instrument, and they do; but Les and Gary have also shown that power and energy is well within reach. Their 1993 album “On the Wing” has been called “a landmark dulcimer album” and Russell Cook of Wood N’ Strings Records states ” definitely stands alone in the world of dulcimer music”. Further expressing the cutting edge of dulcimer music, their 2001 release “Craft of Kin” has been reviewed as having ” a powerful and highly original vision of where the dulcimer can go” ….”should inspire us well into the future.”
For over 10 years, The Gallier Brothers have performed and taught at festivals across the country. From a review of their performance at the Iroquois Amphitheater, Louisville, Ky. for Kentucky Music Weekend. ” …the band was a healthy step away from traditional. Any purists in the audience were drowned out by thunderous applause and the boys were brought back for a bluesy encore” (Louisville Courier-Journal)