LEE GALLAGHER TO RELEASE L.A. YESTERDAY (JULY 24) Joining The New Wave Of Pioneers In The Cosmic California Sound
Players: Lee Gallagher-Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Banjo | Jimmy Dewald-Bass | Kirby Hammel-Piano, Hammond Organ, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Mellotron, ARP String Ensemble | Will Scott-Drums | Jason Soda-Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, 12 String Guitar, Mandolin, Hammond Organ |
San Francisco, CA May 4th, 2020—There’s a family of musicians carrying the torch and leading the way for integrity and soul in music; Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes), Ethan Miller (Howlin’ Rain), Brent Rademaker (Beachwood Sparks), or pretty much any artist you would find on Britt Govea’s “Folkyeah Presents” calendar. These are the newer statesmen of the Cosmic California sound following the path of bands before them; The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Buffalo Springfield (to name a few).
Now, Lee Gallagher’s own brand of cosmic American rock and roll takes a seat at the table with his new album, L.A. Yesterday. “The music I play is always centered on rock and roll,” said Gallagher. “It’s very much rooted in what was a period of awakening—the late 60’s/early 70’s. So many obscure artists, so many mega artists, just a lot of great art.”
A Midwestern transplant, Gallagher’s music took a turn when he moved to San Francisco and also began spending time in Joshua Tree, CA collaborating with artists such as Victoria Williams, Bobby Furgo (Leonard Cohen), and Wally Ingram (Eric Burdon) which resulted in his solo EP, Valley of a Dying Breed.
In San Francisco he put together a group of musicians dubbed “the Hallelujah” and recorded an eponymous debut release (2015). It was a band that struck swift and wild and left an impression. Relix magazine praised the record and named the band, “one of the 5 artists you should know about” claiming “Gallagher’s vocal power may remind you of the late Steve Marriot or a young Robert Plant”.
Following the release, the band toured the US even opening for legendary artist, Leon Russell. “He is a musical giant and a big influence on me,” Gallagher notes. “It was surreal standing next to his piano and looking at his master song list. He died not long after, but he toured to the very end. His bus driver and longtime friend, Mikey, used to send me pictures from the road.” In 2017 the band recorded two singles at the famed Light Rail Studios, “God of War” and “David Crosby” which were recorded on Jerry Garcia’s old tape machine and mastered by Betty Cantor- Jackson of Grateful Dead lore. The band was also invited to perform for the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary Jambase special, Songs of Their Own.
Before beginning L.A. Yesterday, Gallagher made the hard decision to part ways with a couple of band members. As he was contemplating his next move, he was contacted by Jason Soda of Palamino Sound studio who suggested he come down to L.A. to record. “I asked him about using some LA musicians and he immediately offered himself up for lead guitar, said Gallagher.
“Jason was an integral part of the SoCal band, GospelbeacH and their most recent release at the time, Another Summer of Love was recorded at Palomino and sounded fantastic.”
Gallagher enlisted the help of two longtime collaborators Jimmy Dewald (bass) and Kirby Hammel (keyboards). Will Scott (GospelbeacH, Mooney Suzuki) was drafted on drums. “That was a little nerve-racking,” admitted Gallagher. “I loved his playing and Jason recommended him, but what if we didn’t click? Drummers are the backbone and Will is the backbone on this record. Once we started playing, I think the first song was ‘Lullaby for the Acid Queen”, we a loosened up and really leaned into the songs.”
The ten songs of L.A. Yesterday kick off with bright piano and heavy guitar licks of “Highway 10”. “Highway 10 goes out from LA to the Mojave desert. I spend a lot of time in Joshua Tree, so I’ve driven these roads countless times.” Gallagher’s dynamic vocal range is clear and present on all songs, from the sonic sledgehammer “Goodnight Sweet Maria” to the apocalyptic and eerily prescient, “Astral Plane Blues.” Slide guitar makes an appearance on “County Line” and “Gone Today” is a straight up rock and roll song.
Gallagher says that one of the best things that came out of this recording was a friendship with his co-producer, Jason Soda. “He was in the band, Everest which was the first band signed to Neil Young’s Vapor Records, so naturally there were some good stories floating around the studio.
He even has a tiny bottle of Tabasco from Ben Keith’s funeral sitting on top of the mixing console. His inviting me to record at Palomino Sound and the offer of his guitar was the exact lift I needed to dive into my next project.”
The production L.A. Yesterday takes the approach of balancing acoustic-based songs with super heavy rock to allow the album to flow seamlessly. “Jason would layer mandolin, Nashville- strung guitar, and 12 string acoustic and electric,” Gallagher explains. “This is a snapshot in time, recorded during turmoil and change, but beautiful things came out of it including lifelong friendships. Play it very loud rolling down the highway or simply melting into your favorite chair.”
For more information: https://www.leegallaghermusic.com/
Press Contact: Kim Grant KG Music Press | Kim@KGMusicPress.com | 626-755-9022