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Another piper of note in New York in the 1920s, little remembered today, was Michael Gallagher (1886-1971) from Killarga, County Leitrim. Gallagher was an active performer and radio artist but made only a handful of recordings. Those discs, however, demonstrated extraordinary technical mastery. His rendition of “The Colliers” and “The Salamanca” reels, mercifully without the usual piano accompaniment, is a masterpiece of staccato “closed” fingering and tasteful regulator work. In the New York dance halls of the 1920s, it was difficult for a piper to be heard, and Gallagher for such gigs adopted the melodeon, a one-row button accordion with multiple reeds for each note.

  • Collier's, reel ; The Salamanca, reel / Michael Gallagher, uilleann pipes

  • The garden of daisies, long dance / Michael Gallagher, uilleann pipes

  • Lucy Campbell's, reel ; The cup of tea, reel / Michael Gallagher ; Arthur P Kenna