Cullen Brian Gallagher - Cullen Brian Gallagher (2024)

Cullen Brian Gallagher is a country music newcomer from New York with a very pleasing voice whose eponymously named debut album sounds like it came from a seasoned veteran. It's an inspired collection loaded with substance.

Gallagher's extremely laid-back, twelve-song set of original tunes features the star playing his Gibson acoustic guitar, electric lead, and bass. He's the only musician on the sparsely arranged set.

Gallagher is heavily influenced by Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, two artists who always keep it simple and that's what makes this record so good. There is nothing flashy, and every note played is in service to the songs.

Gallagher's songwriting is pure country. It's full of bus rides, too many evenings spent at local bars and women he wants to be with but isn't. Song titles like "Tanked at Hank's," "I Can't Sleep Alone If I'm Not Drunk," "Dead and Gone," and "I Miss Those Days Of Living For The Night" don't sound like they came from anyone living in Brooklyn for the past twenty years.

I even like the album cover, so I asked Gallagher to explain the artwork. "The album cover was drawn by my dear friend Yayoi Asoma who unfortunately passed away just a few months after completing it. She knew that I didn't want a typical country-ish cover, didn't want me with a guitar or anything like that. The only thing I could think of was "raccoons." No particular reason other than I like them. I liked how some of Michael Hurley's albums had animals on them, and I knew that Yayoi also shared my love for animals. So Yayoi listened to the album and came up with the concept that matched the intimate feeling of the album, but also the sense of loneliness and isolation on some of the tracks. She said that's why we only see one raccoon awake on the couch, with only a portion of the partner at the other end of the couch. For the painting above the couch, Yayoi included the flames that were part of the logo of Hank's Saloon, my favorite bar where many of these songs were written (the last song, Tanked at Hank's, is about that bar). By the time she drew this cover, Hank's had closed, so it's a nice tribute."

The singer-songwriter's only other release is a four-song EP, The Lonely Place Of You. It was released in November 2021 and is still available on his website.

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