Lee Gallagher & The Hallelujah
Preaching the Psychedelic Gospel
The music on the self-titled debut from Lee Gallagher & The Hallelujah would be impressive regardless of the backstory: 11 tunes that are extremely comfortable in their own soulful, rocking skin. The fact that Gallagher and his bandmates had only been playing together for four months prior to laying those tracks down is as mind-blowing as some of their jams. “Bands are organic—you can’t force it,” says Gallagher. It was a case of “strange, cosmic, weird shit” that brought Gallagher and keyboardist Kirby Hammel together: Hammel was “pounding out some badass boogie-woogie on an upright piano” in the back of a truck. “I gotta talk to this guy,” Gallagher told himself. “So I did—and it all kind of came together from there.” Guitarist Jacob Landry plays with a style that will remind you of many without imitating any; drummer Joe Miller and (newest Hallelujah member) bassist Jimmy Dewald lock in as one through arrangements that flow with the emotion of the tune at hand. Gallagher’s vocal power may remind you of the late Steve Marriott or a young Robert Plant—he plays a wicked blues harp, too—but he also has the sort of control and phrasing that’s more often associated with the gospel world.