Lucas Gallo ‘thrives’ on the local music scenes

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Lucas Gallo

MANCHESTER, NH – Concord-based musician Lucas Gallo recently tried his hand at video production, compiling images to accompany his original song “Thrive,” which is currently the most streamed tune on his Spotify page. 

Gallo shared the music video on a Facebook post, where he also mentioned that he wrote “Thrive” to be “a collection of advice” for his three young children who he shares with his wife, Summer.

The song is a folksy acoustic groove—catchy as hell. In the lyrics, the 41-year-old songwriter assures his kids that “no matter what the world may bring/we will always love/and we will always sing.”



These lines seem to function as a credo for Gallo, who has been singing his songs to any willing ear for more than three decades, which he says is all he has ever wanted from his art. 

“I don’t need to be a big rock star,” said Gallo, who opened for the Adam Ezra Group at the Bank of New Hampshire Stage in October. “I’m just happy to be able to play. I’m probably happiest playing at a bar and joking around with people drinking beers.” 

This humility is far from a pretense for the Vermont native, who remains active in the local music scenes in Southern New Hampshire. “Local music is really important to me,” Gallo said. “My passion has always been creating a community of local music.” 

Gallo comes from musical roots. His grandmother was an accomplished pianist, and both his grandfather and great-grandfather played the guitar and sang—strangely, while both were appreciative of music, neither of his parents played instruments.      

With an innate love for music ingrained, Gallo said he first picked up the guitar as a pre-teen. Around this time, he also attended his first bluegrass jam circle at a cabin in Colorado Springs, hosted by The Black Forest Acoustic Society. “I’ve always loved live music,” Gallo said. 

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“The acoustic guitar is where I’m comfortable,” says musician Lucas Gallo. Photo/Cory MacEachern Ghelli

But his tastes have always been eclectic and not limited to the sonic. He credits the works of the Beat Generation writers—Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs—for inspiring an early love for the printed page, where Gallo wrote and published his own poems and short fiction for years before settling into the acoustic guitar and songwriting. 

“The acoustic guitar is where I’m comfortable,” said Gallo, who is sponsored by Breedlove Guitars. “But I have very different approaches to writing, say, a poem and a song. With the song, I approach it more rhythmically. I’ll sometimes stumble into a chord progression, and I’ll play it and play it until the lyrics come. I have to live in it first.” 

Gallo first began playing songs to audiences while in high school and working at a Caffenio, a former cafe in downtown Concord. He then joined a hardcore band with some fellow Concord High School students, a sound antithetical to the softer, jam-based acoustic music he currently plays.

“But the underlying spirit and emotion of music is always the same,” said Gallo.

While working in bookstores in his early 20s and attending the New Hampshire Institute of Technology (now Concord Community College), Gallo became involved in the local music scene in Concord. 

Gallo said some of his early influences included Lamont Smooth, Passing Blue and the Ron Noyes Band. “Now I have the honor to call these people my friends,” he added. 

After transferring to Granite State College—which has now merged with the University of New Hampshire—and double-majoring in literature and philosophy, a stroke of serendipity would “organically” lead to the formation of jamAntics, a five-piece band that combined rock, funk, pop and jam music. 

The band took off on the regional festival circuits, and Gallo, who played the acoustic guitar in jamAntics, took it upon himself to learn everything he could about booking shows and managing a band.

“I gave myself a crash course in booking,” said Gallo, who still books his own shows. “Whenever I do something, I try to learn as much as I can about that topic and apply it. When I focus on something, I want to be successful.” 

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Catch Lucas Gallo at Great North Aleworks Jan. 6, 2024.

And, by any measure, jamAntics was successful, winning awards from The Hippo Press, the Concord Insider and New Hampshire Magazine while touring throughout the New England-region and gathering a word-of-mouth following. 

More importantly, for Gallo, the band was community-minded, playing shows for all ages and bringing the community together. 

Gallo said that the band would meet other talented local bands while playing festivals and wanted to bring these talents to play in Concord. 

So they did. With the support of Jon Steiner, who manages Penuche’s Ale House, they started “jamAntics Presents,” where they brought in other regional bands to play live in Concord.  “We formed a bunch of great relationships,” said Gallo. 

When jamAntics parted ways, Gallo still stayed involved in the promotion of local music, hosting a radio with his friend Eric Reingold on 94.7 FM titled “Sounds of the Scene” and creating a website called the Concord New Hampshire Music Scene where the goal was “to objectively promote music in Concord,” said Gallo. 

“There was no favoritism toward skill level, genre or establishment,” he said. “It was just the music that was happening in the area.” 

Eventually, Gallo went on to earn a master’s degree in education from Plymouth State University, accepted a full-time job at a school, met his wife and started a family. 

In other words, life happened. 

And for a few years, Gallo’s musical pursuits fell into the backdrop as he focused on his family. “The kids came along and everything slowed down,” he said. “But my family is where my ultimate focus is. It is more important.” 

But the music never stopped. Gallo was still writing and playing songs, only it now included his family. “I now write more with my family in mind,” he said. “When I was younger, my lyrics were a little more selfish.” 

Gallo also had to find a way to strike the ever-elusive balance between his music and his family life, and he credits Summer, a first-grade teacher, for helping him discover it.  

“Summer is my biggest supporter and the biggest champion of my music behind the scenes,” Gallo said. “She keeps the fire burning. If I didn’t have someone like her, it wouldn’t be as easy to balance everything, and that makes all the difference.”  

In “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” Bob Dylan assures us that he’ll “know [his] well before [he] starts singin’.” 

In the chorus of “Thrive,” Gallo writes, “Don’t worry, child, you will get by./Don’t worry, child, you will thrive.” 

And while these words are intended to be advice for his children, it seems that Lucas Gallo knows his song well as he continues to “thrive” on the local music scenes.       

[Lucas Gallo will play live at Great North Aleworks in Manchester on Jan. 6. The show begins at 4 p.m.]


 

About this Author

Nathan Graziano

Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester with his wife and kids. He's the author of nine collections of fiction and poetry. His most recent book, Born on Good Friday was published by Roadside Press in 2023. He's a high school teacher and freelance writer, and in his free time, he writes bios about himself in the third person. For more information, visit his website: http://www.nathangraziano.com