Les and Gary Gallier, nationally recognized as pioneers and innovators on the Mountain Dulcimer, are redefining not only how the instrument is played but the music it is capable of. Each won the title of National Champion at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield Kansas 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, blending influences from classical, Irish, rock, jazz, and mountain styles, to create a true signature sound. 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.
For the past four years, the Gallier Brothers have performed with the same personnel as a four-piece ensemble. Gary Gallier-dulcimer, Les Gallier-dulcimer and guitar, David Wilson-fiddle, mandolin, and cello, and Steve Duede, bass. All members contribute subtle percussion. Recording is underway on their fourth album.