Jazz Guitarist Mike Gallaher

This week we feature jazz guitarist Mike Gallaher. Not your run of the mill player. Gallaher is guy after my own heart — a passionate, fiery guitarist with a fine melodic sense. Be sure to give him a listen.

Online Bio:

Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Michaels earliest musical experience came when his mother bought him his first guitar. From that moment on, he never looked back, playing rock and roll and blues bands and soaking up the sounds of such great guitar pioneers as Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Steve Howe, Jimmy Hendrix, the list goes on and on from back then.

But, beyond the list of rock influences, Michaels musical interests reached out much further to include jazz greats such as, Pat Martino, George Benson, Jimmy Raney, Wes Montgomery, whose styles would have great impact on the young guitarist.” Most impressively the style of jazz great Pat Martino,” says Mike. Another key creative catalyst: guitar master Larry Wooldridge who, sensing Michael’s unique promise, took him on as a student.

Leaving Baltimore at the young age of 18 to pursue his musical destiny, Michael spent the next several years on the road. Finally landing on the thriving Atlanta music scene, he fronted his own band, JazzDance, which featured his original material and garnered extensive regional airplay as well as both opening and headlining major bills throughout the area.

Subsequently relocating to Las Vegas, Michael further honed his performing chops playing casino dates.While still on the circuit, he was contacted by a friend in Dallas, who invited him to conduct a clinic at the University of North Texas. His Texas stopover turned into a ten year sojourn, during which time he became a fixture on the Dallas music scene, recording and performing with a literal ” Who’s Who” of modern music. It was during this time that he was voted a ‘ Texas Tornado’ by the Dallas Observer as the years best jazz player, joining the ranks as such former Tornado winners as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Johnson and Johnny Winter. Also, for seven years he played guitar for The Music Bakery and many other studio performances.

By the time he left Dallas for Nashville, he had become one of the most respected guitarists in the country. Its a reputation that followed him to Music City, even as Michael began to seriously pursue a solo career. As he entered the studio to cut ‘ Blue Paradise ‘ his first solo CD, he surrounded himself with world class musicians. Which shows his extraordinary technique and exuberant delivery. The result offers dazzling evidence of why Michael is considered one of today’s most inventive and inspirational players.

From Nashville, his playing took him even further, as the lead guitar player for superstar vocalist Joe Cocker, travelling the world for the” No Ordinary World Tour 99-2000.” During which time superstar Leon Russell heard his CD Blue Paradise, and signed him to his new label.

Mike has now carried his reputation across the Atlantic to Oslo, Norway, where he continues to pursue his own solo career, teaching, and backing many famous stars.

Mike’s wife is Norwegian, and he has an eleven year old girl and a brand new baby boy!

With a deft and distinctive guitar style, an appealing and accessible songwriting ability, and a lifetime of experience on stage and in the studio, Mike Gallaher embodies the term ” Musicians Musician ”.

Equally at home with any number of contemporary musical forms, Michael has made a name for himself as one of the most versitile and multi-faceted players on the scene today. Michael is a musician who crosses all music genre borders, and he recieves high praise from the artists with whom he’s collaborated. Genesis Drummer Chester Thompson declares Gallaher ” one of the finest and fieriest guitarists I have had the pleasure of working with. In fact, he should wear a sign, ‘ No Whimps Allowed ”; and legendary bassist Chuck Rainey singles him out as ” a classic example of exceptional, functional talent in organized music.” Superstar vocalist and songwriter Leon Russell says ” Mike Gallaher is one of the finest guitarists I have had the pleasure of working with, Im looking forward to expanding Mike’s talents to include his vocal ability on future records.”

A look at Michael’s performing and recording portfolio underscores the point. Among those who have tapped his talents, just to name a few: Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, Delbert McClinton, Kirk Whalum, Michael Omartian. The list goes on.

But more than simply an in-demand session player, Michael Gallaher is a gifted and original artist in his own right, poised for a solo career that brings together his unique abilities with a lifetime of making music.

Doc Dosco is a jazz guitarist, composer and audio consultant living in Los Angeles, CA. His website is located at docdosco.com, where you can find more information on the ‘What’s Hot with Jazz Guitar’ columns, audio clips of Doc’s playing, and many additional features. Doc endorse Heritage Guitars and is a featured artist on their website. He also endorses the new Pignose Valve Tube Amps — great for jazz (and anything else!)

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